Friday, March 21, 2008

WorkTools: "We Won the Judgement But it Did No Good" Part II

Yesterday, Mr Mike Marks, inventor and co-founder of WorkTools explained in Part I how is it possible that although they won at court in Taiwan it really did no good. In Part II below you will find a more detailed explanation by Mr Brad I Golstein, partner of WorkTools who manages their IP.

Mr Brad I Golstein wrote:
"In this particular instance in Taiwan, the case dragged on so long that the applicable law changed before it was decided, so the court threw out the case as being moot (irrelevant) in light of the changed law. It is the strong suspicion of many that Taiwan laws are designed more to protect home industry than to protect intellectual property rights. In general, the "proof" requirements are much greater and the penalties for infringement are much less than in the United States. What is often recommended to achieve success is that the foreign company have a Taiwanese partner who is the actual party to the lawsuit (such as the company that has the official rights to manufacture the product in Taiwan)--that makes it a case of Taiwan company vs Taiwan company rather than Taiwan company vs Foreign company. Larger Taiwan companies are probably more likely to respect IP rights, and less likely to simply close up the offending shop and just open anew down the street (although this is still possible)."

"Success" in stopping Asian knock-offs is a relative term--many times that means driving the infringer underground rather than being able to> eliminate them entirely. Many times it means getting major retailers to agree to not stock the offending product rather than actually stopping the manufacture of it. And while some degree of success> might be achieved in North America and Western Europe, it is much harder in less regulated parts of the globe, such as Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, etc. Heck, even mega-corporations such as Disney, Levi's, Microsoft, etc. have their hands full and cannot stop all the infringers. "

"As a bit of an elaboration, the penalties for infringement in Taiwan in the matter we were pursuing before it was dismissed were quiteminor--something like putting a notice in the local paper and a fine of$4,000 (which the government would keep, it would not go to us tocompensate for our losses!)."
Brad I Golstein WorkTools, Inc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good post. taiwan is such a mess in this kind of stuff. thanks to golstein for laying it out though.

also, I came across this interview with Mr. Marks the other day, it's pretty interesting. check it out.