A Three-Pronged Approach: How the United States Can Use WTO Disclosure Requirements to Curb Intellectual Property Infringement in China

By Liang, Mark | Chicago Journal of International Law, Summer 2010 | Go to article overview

A Three-Pronged Approach: How the United States Can Use WTO Disclosure Requirements to Curb Intellectual Property Infringement in China


Liang, Mark, Chicago Journal of International Law


Abstract

Counterfeiting and the piracy of consumer goods in China are serious and globally recognised problems. Despite concerns expressed by the US and past efforts, China has been unable to enforce IP rights effectively for decades. As a result, American businesses seeking to sell IP-protected goods in China suffer tens of billions of dollars in losses every year. This Comment aims to determine and assess what measures the US may take to reduce IP infringement in China in the short term. China's weak IP enforcement record is a result of both long-term and short-term causes. Short-term causes (that is, causes that could be remedied within the next five years) include problems with China's nascent judicial system, local protectionism and economic dependence on IP infringement, under-deterrence, market access limitations, and the vagueness of the TRIPS Agreement. However, the various proposals found in existing literature for improving China's IP enforcement record fail to adequately tackle these short-term causes and are therefore unlikely to produce an immediate benefit.

The US should adopt a three-pronged approach to improve China's IP enforcement record. First, the US should file a WTO complaint alleging an Article 63.1 violation. Article 63.1 imposes transparency standards on the adjudicative processes and regulations of WTO member states. Second, the US and China should conclude a bilateral agreement providing incentives for joint ventures between American and Chinese companies. Joint ventures will give Chinese companies an incentive to enforce their IP rights since they will then hold an ownership stake. Third, the US should, either by filing a WTO complaint or through bilateral negotiations, seek to reduce China's current market access barriers. However, because China's IP enforcement problem is largely a result of long-term causes, there may be little the US can realistically do to bring about immediate and marked improvement in the effectiveness of China's IP enforcement.

I. INTRODUCTION

Intellectual property (IP) infringement in China is one of the most pressing problems facing US-China relations. Recent estimates speculate that 86 percent of aU IP protected goods sold in China have been counterfeited or UlegaUy copied. Other studies suggest the rate is above 90 percent.2 Rampant IP infringement costs key "IP-dependent" sectors of the US economy billions each year. For example, the US software and entertainment industries suffer between $2.5 and $3.8 büon in lost sales each year.3 In 2001, China's State Councü estimated the value of all pkated goods Ui China at $19 to $24 biUion, accounting for one-fourth of the US-China trade deficit for that year.4 China's weak inteUectual property rights (IPR) enforcement problem poses an enormous risk to US companies seeking to do business in China. Without adequate protection of IP, lower-priced unauthorized copies of US companies' products flood the Chinese consumer market, substituting legitimate and higher-priced copies. China's weak IPR enforcement also increases the US-China trade deficit (itself a sensitive economic and poUtical issue) because sales of domesticaUy produced counterfeit copies replace sales of legitimate imported copies and because it discourages US companies from exporting goods and services to China. These problems wül only multiply in size as the US and China continue to Ulerease büateral trade and investment5 and as the Chinese economy continues to expand.6

The US has attempted to remedy the situation over the past two decades. The 1990s were characterized by a pattern of US threats of trade sanctions, with the intent that such sanctions would induce the Chinese government to crack down on IPR violations.7 Such direats typically failed, usually because the US withdrew the threats out of concern over potential retaliatory Chinese measures.8 In 2001, China joined die World Trade Organization (WTO).9 The WTO and its Dispute Setdement Body (DSB), which is composed of the Dispute Panel (Panel) and the Appellate Body (AB), resolves disputes concerning matters within the scope of WTO agreements. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Three-Pronged Approach: How the United States Can Use WTO Disclosure Requirements to Curb Intellectual Property Infringement in China
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.