perspective Intellectual property rights is a hot topic for President Bush. Recovering the money lost by large multinationals such as Nike and Microsoft in China would go a long way toward reducing the trade surplus with the United States, which hit a whopping US$85 billion in May. Some of the numbers are startling. The Business Software Alliance estimates that in 2005, 86 percent of all software used in China was pirated, accounting for a US$3.9 billion sales loss. Meanwhile an estimated US$60 billion a year’s worth of counterfeit goods are exported out of China, ultimately ending up for sale on U.S. street corners. With counterfeiting a huge concern, companies must look at new ways to address the problem and protect intellectual property rights. With signs that China’s consumers and its government are taking intellectual property issues more seriously, companies with a smart approach to China can prosper. A matter of economics The problem is more a matter of economics than of a morally corrupt Chinese populace. As the disposable incomes of Chinese consumers continue to grow, brand loyalty gains currency, and domestic Chinese companies begin to lose revenue to pirates, intellectual property problems will be solved in much the same… Read full this story
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