IP needs respect, protection but not discrimination
CGTN's Wang Yue
A pending trial in the US state of Wisconsin over claims of intellectual property (IP) theft by China’s largest wind turbine maker Sinovel Wind Group from American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) may be a legal milestone that sets a precedent for future IP battles between the US and China, observers say.
“This is not the first one and surely won’t be the last case between China and the US,” said Liu Zhiqin, a senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.
"I believe the IP is one of the most useful and powerful tools for Western countries use against China’s economic rise.”
As a “latecomer” in IP ownership, China often suffers from complaints by Western countries and settling these claims through legal disputes may be the best way for Western countries to safeguard their interest, says Liu.
He agrees that nations should respect and protect IP claims, but adds that there should be no bias toward either side.
US federal prosecutors indicted the Chinese firm Sinovel Wind Group and two of its executives in 2013 on criminal charges of stealing software – the key to operating components of energy-generating wind turbines.
The indictment claims that theft cost AMSC more than 800 million US dollars in losses and caused AMSC's stock to plunge more than 40 percent overnight, leading to hundreds of layoffs.
The trial could result in billions of dollars of fines for Sinovel. The Chinese company has denied wrongdoing in its opening statement.
“At the moment, we are confused by different explanations and stories on what really happened,” Liu said. And he suggested that Chinese law system and law authority should pay more attention to this case in order to avoid similar difficulties in the future.