Thursday, February 16, 2006

Mertha's Institutional Approach to Chinese IP Enforcement and Solution: Pressure by Foreign Companies

James F. Paradise wrote an excellent review about Andrew C. Mertha's book, 'The Politics of Piracy: Intellectual Property In Contemporary China' for AsiaMedia of the UCLA Asia Institute.

If you are bit tired reading about cultural and historical factors as an explanation to China's lack of IP enforcement and you do want to focus more on institutional factors than on the judicial and legal issues, Mertha's book may be of interest to you.

Paradise wrote to illustrate about this focus:

"An important part of the book explains variation in protection of different types of intellectual property. According to Mertha, trademarks in China have generally fared better than patents or copyrights. This, he explains, is due to the fact that two organizations have been involved with trademark enforcement -- the Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) and the Quality Technical Supervision Bureau (QTSB) -- and their administrative reaches extend deep into localities, to the county level in the case of the QTSB and to the township level in the case of the AIC."

Paradise is critisizing Mertha for his exclusive focus on action, instigated by foreign companies, at the local level and is forgetting about the national level. Since both levels are important Paradise is right. So who is going to focus on the national level? I hope James Paradise is feeling the call.

Read the review here.

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