January 3, 2011

Will ACTA make China win?

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The New York Times writes about China’s policy to promote issuing more patents. “In a recent interview, David J. Kappos, director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, pointed to the Chinese targets for 2015 and called them ‘mind-blowing numbers.’ “.

In a post called “China joins the patent trolls; wake up America”, John Bennett comments: “If you are behind in the patent race, file like mad and be prepared to litigate.” He adds that this competitive challenge will force the rich developed countries to assess its patent policies.

With ACTA, the industrialised countries try to strengthen their competitive advantage over the emerging economies. The United States is mainly interested in protecting copyright and trade marks. The United States, long time ardent supporter of stronger enforcement, will exclude patents from the scope of ACTA (opt out). This will give the US the freedom to fine tune its patent enforcement regime.

The EU will not exclude patents from the scope of ACTA. China’s patents will hit the EU, and the EU will have no way to fine tune its patent enforcement regime. The EU is making a major strategical mistake.

ACTA’s damages even go beyond current EU law (pdf).

Update: See also Techdirt: China’s Patent Strategy Isn’t About Innovation; It’s An Economic Weapon Against Foreign Companies