Former Sec Defense Robert Gates on IP Protection in China

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Robert M. Gates

At the WCTA policy conference, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the keynote speaker, was asked what state and federal governments can do to protect U.S. companies from IP theft when doing business in China. His answer:

“Very little.

“It’s a very big problem when it comes to dealing with China, and from a government standpoint, having the Chinese have these new technologies is not a bad thing, in terms of cleaning up their air. From a competitive business standpoint, it’s a huge problem, in terms of investing and partnering in China.

“But I don’t know of a single industry involved in technology that does not face the challenge of pirated IP in China. It’s just a fact of life.

“I know some industrialists who have developed a big market in China and they are telling themselves this will be a five-year market, because the Chinese will steal our technology, they’ll steal our designs, and they will put their own product in the marketplace that will indistinguishable from ours at a cheaper cost in five years. …

“You can put some temporary fixes in, some temporary protections, but if they really want it, they’ll come after it.”

Gates, former CIA director, added, “this IP problem is not limited to China, although it’s probably the most egregious there.”

Find the full story at the source:  Ben Romano, Xconomy, February 7, 2013.