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ICG Risk Blog - [ Realistic Intellectual Property (IP) Protection in China, Updated: 26 Jun, 2008 ]

Realistic Intellectual Property (IP) Protection in China, Updated: 26 Jun, 2008


Realistic IP Protection in China, 26 Jun, 2008, is the latest in our series on Intellectual Property (IP) threat and remediation given at the GlobalAutoIndusty (GAI) conference on 26 June.

In preparation of this particular conference, GAI asked for "What you will learn" bullet points to include in their trade press. My immediate response was this set of six key takeaways:

  1. Define IP and its loss
  2. Redefine the nature of IP loss into a workable global framework
  3. Understand the nature of supply chain "risk at any tier" as opposed to "risky countries"
  4. Learn the common "solutions" that do not work, that actually leave the user more vulnerable
  5. Overview an approach that does work, drawn from counterintelligence practice
  6. Know that most of your advisory firms are less skilled in IP protection than you are.

Reviewing previous IP risk presentations against these criteria, the latest China risk presentations best address these key points as the risk analyses for India, Mexico and Brazil have to contrast too many other topics such as threats to personnel and facilities, terrorist focus on disrupting BPO and data centers, and impacts of the drug trade.

For those wishing to dig deeper into the 26 June China presentation:

Keynoted topical thefts and acts of piracy, as well as the government's capacity to suppress illegal activities when it is so inclined, are explored in detail in:

The processes on risk remediation and the Design Basis Threat (DBT) analysis and response are addressed at length in this two part series:

The "Misadventures in IP protection" summary is abstracted from the detailed analysis of PRTM's survey of failed IP "protective" practices employed by a set of global automotive suppliers in: 

Just as this note was going to release, I was discussing the fake Chinese iPhone clones (also here) that are just now gaining notoriety in the west. My colleague offered yet another example of how little things change in China when it is not in the government's interest to suppress illegal activity that produces revenue and growth so long as it does not embarrass the party:

A year ago I was in Beijing with [Taiwanese colleague], who grew in Taiwan before getting his MS degree at Stanford. A few  blocks from our Hotel on the main street were two multi-tenant shopping buildings, one for tourists, with likely all legitimate goods, cashmere clothing, tabletop art, furniture, and so on.


The other according to [him] had been knocked off the Internet (the authorities had begun their ongoing show of cracking down on counterfeit stuff in prep for this summer).  It was jammed with aggressive merchants manning small booths, many chock full of fake watches, others selling cameras, cell phones, knock-off designer clothing.  When I walked through by myself, several called out "iPhone" and I stopped to look at them.


[Both of us] went back and heard none of that. I even went to one that an hour earlier had showed me one and when I asked was told they had no such thing.  The likely reason for the change was that they thought [my colleague] was with the [Chinese] authorities. [private email]

Fake Chinese iPhone is Pretty Good Photocopy of the Real Deal

By Kit Eaton


3:56 AM on Thu Jul 3 2008


Fake Chinese iPhones Look Pretty Convincing

posted by arn on Thursday July 03, 2008 12:34 AM


Gordon Housworth

InfoT Public  Intellectual Property Theft Public  Risk Containment and Pricing Public  Strategic Risk Public  


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