Friday, January 26, 2007

EU Survey: 40 Percent sees China As Biggest IP Threat

The Economist Intelligence Unit published a white paper 'The Value of Knowledge, European firms and the intellectual property challenge', after it surveyed 405 European executives about their perceptions of IP.

Here are the China relevant quotes:

"European IP remains under threat from both developing and developed markets.
China is the respondents’ biggest worry (cited by 40 % as the chief geographic source of risk). Executives are optimistic, however, that the country’s IP regime will improve in the short to medium term, as local firms develop their won."

"Wim Klop, managing director of Dutch chemical company DSM’s IP arm. “It’s still hard to have a legal impact on Chinese companies in China, so we tend to sue their partners in Europe,” he says."

"Thomas Ehmer, head of IP at Puma, a German shoe and sportswear manufacturer, speaks for many exectutives when he points out that China’s immature IP regime, coupled with its cheap yet advanced manufacturing base, makes it the ideal environment for counterfeiting. “Counterfeiting products are … produced for the entire world,” he says, adding that the operations have become much more professional in the past year alone. “We are now facing organised crime,” he concludes."

"Mr Ehmer (Puma), Mr Hourcade (chief technology officer at Thomson, a French electronics firm) and other executives believe that China’s central government sincerely wants to strengthen IP enforcement, but that it has less influence over local authorities than it would like. And it is only the local authorities, they point out, who can really crack down on the counterfeit factories and other unsavoury ascpects of Chinese capitalism."

Read the EIU's white paper here.

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