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World
01 Mar 2017

China, world's biggest infringer of intellectual property

According to an American watchdog's report, rampant intellectual theft by China is costing America a mind-boggling $600 billion every year.

The watchdog has labelled China as "world's principal IP infringer".

For long intellectual property infringement has been a grave concern for the United States especially since it believed that Chinese government encourages theft of intellectual property.

In context

China's dubious record in intellectual property
China's infringement widespread across sectors

Details

China's infringement widespread across sectors

According to a report by 'Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property', the United States incurs losses in the range of $225 billion to $600 billion.

Theft of trade secrets costs America roughly $180-540 billion; losses from counterfeit goods and pirated software is $41 billion and $18 billion respectively.

China-made goods accounts for 87% of counterfeit goods that enter the United States.

Intellectual Property Commission

The Commission on 'American Intellectual Property Theft' is headed by former US Ambassador to China and current Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and Admiral Dennis Blair, former director of US national intelligence.

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Why?

Software piracy a bigger threat than estimates

Proliferation of pirated software is a bigger problem that what is reflected in published statistics.

This is due to the ease in downloading software, its use prevalent across industries and countries and inadequate monitoring.

Value of software pirated in 2015 has been pegged in excess of $52 billion worldwide.

Lack of industrial policies encourage IP theft by public and private entities alike.

Tackling IP theft menace with urgency

Job Huntsman: "The vast, illicit transfer of American innovation is one of the most significant economic issues impacting US competitiveness that the nation has not fully addressed. It looks to be, must be, a top priority of the new administration.''

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