Isn’t China Growing Up Nicely? Jaguar Wins Evoque Copyright Case

That the b’stards over there steal all our intellectual property is indeed true. And possibly the correct answer is to allow them to do so until they’ve grown up enough to stop doing so on their own. This isn’t a popular view among those who own intellectual property but it might well be the correct answer government gives to them.

For poor places don’t have any money. Thus there’s not a great deal of point in trying to charge them money. It’s only as places get richer that they have any we can take off them. And a useful definition of a place getting richer is when it’s creating economic value. In this modern world that means creating intellectual property. So, they’ll want to defend their own as they get richer. Which is when we can charge them for our and also when we can start insisting they protect our IP as they desire to protect their own.

That is, all these arguments over stealing ideas and designs and software and all that, they’re self solving through economic growth:

Jaguar Land Rover wins Evoque ‘copycat’ legal battle in China

The Chinese courts are supporting IP rights now. Why? Because China is getting rich:

Jaguar Land Rover has won a long-running court battle in Beijing against a Chinese car manufacturer the British marque claimed had copied its Evoque model. The Coventry-based company launched a case against Jiangling Motor Corporation over its Evoque-lookalike Landwind X7 car, saying it “directly copied” elements of the British-designed off-roader.

Beijing’s Chaoyang district court backed JLR, ruling that the Landwind used “five unique features” of the Evoque, and that the Landwind’s similarity had led to widespread consumer confusion. The court ordered that Jiangling must immediately stop selling, making and marketing the Landwind X7 and pay JLR compensation.

Another way to put this is that China is growing up. Which is great, that’s 1.3 billion people getting richer. And this sort of IP protection is just part and parcel of that process. We’ve not got to do anything very much. Perhaps just remind that we’ll only protect their if they protect our. And we’re done.

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Or this might be a tiny step in placating outraged (and robbed) westerners.

The Chinese appear to have wholesale stolen the design of the F35 and incorporated it in their J-31 fifth generation fighter. Good luck getting compensation for that theft.

Conversely, the Chinese would be delighted if we stole their J-11 design (itself a knock-off the Russian Su-27) and built it.

This column may eventually be right, but not today.