Monday, July 31, 2006


Austria's Innovative 'Innovationsschutzprogramm' For Patents Will Become Reality

Hannes Farnleitner, former federal Minister of Economic Affairs ofAustria said something remarkable in 2005:

"We have an international patent documentation office in Vienna. And it is absolutely normal that a very vivid Chinese thinker says if they have no patents inChina let's copy it. [..] we get daily at least 120 requests from Chinese persons to get some information about who patented what and what not in China. So it's absolutely amazing that today my advice is, a leading consultant in my country, to small and medium sized companies not to patent anything. And not to deliver your product where there is a small market for you in China and India because the chance to be copied is [silence]."

Farnleitner wanted to use the Austrian chairmanship of January to June 2006 to put his idea of an Innovation Protecting Agency on the EU agenda and start a Transatlantic dialogue. Two weeks ago I called the Austria Wirtsschatsservice (AWS), the Austrian Commerce Service in Vienna, and Dr. Georg Buchtela said they are implementing Farnleitner's idea, which is besides making SME's aware of intellectual property rights, to patent their inventions, designs, utility models in such a way that the government will take the risk for any infringments. The SME's have to give the right to file complaints against infringements to the government. According to Farnleitner, that way you build up a very strong WTO-case, because the Chinese infringers no longer infringe patents of companies, but are violating the rights of states.

Die AWS confirmed here (in German) that Farnleitner's plan for an "Innovationsschutzprogramm' will become reality this Fall. Read Die Presse article about it here (in German).

Sources for this blog: "Stories from the Trenches - intellectual property protection, anti-counterfeiting advice, tax and regulatory issues" China India Russia Investing in Emerging Markets Haas School ofBusiness, UC Berkeley, 2005; fast forward to 1 hour 4 minutes and 30 seconds:; and a phone call with dr. Georg Buchtela of AWS.

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