Tuesday, August 02, 2005

An Axis of Another Type of Evil

In discussions with a patent lawyer today, he let me in on the Axis of IP Evil (IP is short for Intellectual Property, meaning patent violations, trademark violation and the like):

1. China
2. Brazil
3. Argentina

Now, I am not knowledgeable enough to tell you why the two South American countries belong on the list, but this is an IP guy who does litigation, and is very, very good at what he does, so I will have to go with his word on those two (Brazil is probably related to their breaking patents on drugs, Argentina I have no idea).

China I am more familiar with, and tech companies for some time have known that there is no such thing as patent protection, trade secrets or any other protection from outright theft of intellectual property in that country. Things are supposedly getting better, and the larger Chinese companies by and large do comply with the rules. Anything exported is easy to clamp down on, but as their domestic market grows, companies will have to keep a close eye on domestically produced and distributed goods.

Surprisingly, Taiwan is not on the list, but I don't know if that is because things have improved there or if the other three are just so bad to knock it out of the top three rungs.

Just something to keep in mind as you run down to the patent office.

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