Tuesday, December 06, 2005, 12/06/2005 03:41:00 PM

Ancient Chinese Secret, Huh?

By Todd
Seems like the mantra of Western businesses in today's global economy is "all roads lead to China." We agree. However, yesterday's piece in The Cincinnati Enquirer accurately identifies a major risk for those same Western businesses - the exposure of their trade secrets and associated intellectual property interests to piracy or theft. We predict that this is not a dilemma that will be solved in the near future (and the "near future" in China isn't what it is in the West - ed.) through international legal strictures or voluntary Chinese compliance. As such, it is imperative that companies considering expansion of their manufacturing base, or distribution of goods, into China audit and catalogue their intellectual property assets and consider "best strategies" for the protection of the same before they make the leap in an attempt to capture manufacturing efficiencies or untapped markets. Confucius probably never said "he who puts his head in the sand . . . will get kicked in the end" but that seems to be the case for Western companies who put their heads in the sand with regard to their intellectual property that may become exposed in their endeavors in China.

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