Tuesday, May 14, 2019

IPR and Innovation 43, Recent news on India, China and HK on IP

It is somehow easy for governments to initiate disrespect of intellectual property rights (IPR), when the history and philosophy why government was created in the first place, is to protect the citizens' three basic freedom and rights -- right to life, right to liberty, and right to private property.

Three recent news in Asia point to this continuing problem. This illustration/image is from http://www.bdu.ac.in/cells/ipr/

1. India is emerging as an important producer of counterfeit goods
Apr 21, 2019, 02.11 PM (IST)  G Srinivasan

… the European Union Intellectual Property Organisation (EU-IPO)… 2016 data, an updated report jointly released in the third week of March, estimated that the volume of global trade in counterfeit and pirated products could amount to as much as a whopping $509 billion. Even as this constitutes up to 3.3 per cent of world trade, it excludes domestically produced and consumed counterfeit and pirated products or pirated digital products being distributed via the Internet.

the study traces the dramatic sale of counterfeit and pirated goods from virtually all economies in all continents, with China and Hong Kong as the biggest conduits. In addition, several Asian economies, including India are also important suppliers of counterfeit products, despite a role that is significantly lesser than China’s.

2. China is being hyped as new haven for enforcing IP rights, but let’s not get carried away
April 25, 2019 11.05pm AEST

Before foreign firms trust the IP litigation hype about China, they need to look at the big picture. A national IP system comprises more than just win rates. The length of time required to reach a ruling and the level of damages awarded are important, too. Jaguar’s experience is dramatically different to certain other foreign firms: Honda, for instance, took 12 years to win a similar case in 2016 concerning the design of its CR-V SUV. The Japanese company only received ¥16m (£1.8m), a sliver of the ¥300m it claimed it was due.

According to the US-based Global Innovation Policy Centre’s 2019 index of IP system rankings, China scores a lukewarm 21.5 out of 45 – miles behind the top-ranked US (42.7), UK (42.2) and Sweden (41.8).

3. Innovation Banned. The Case Of Hong Kong And Other Asian Countries
Apr 24, 2019, 12:25pm   Lorenzo Montanari

The ban of e-cigarettes is back in the news in Asia, this time partnered with its disastrous partner, “plain packaging.”… In 1992, Singapore banned the import, manufacture, and sale of chewing gum, reportedly because vandals were sticking it over door sensors on new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains…

Hong Kong once had a common sense approach to vaping - waiting for evidence, one way or the other, on efficacy and potential negative side effects. But, even now that we know that vaping is at least 95% safer than cigarette smoking and much better than nicotine replacement gum (which is legal in Hong Kong), Hong Kong has decided to join Singapore in banning vaping.

Singapore has now intensified its war on smokers, not just by banning the one credible alternative to smoking, but now also passing “plain packaging” for cigarette containers… removal of branding and trademarks from tobacco products, Singapore has also conducted a public consultation regarding sugary soft drinks.

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