Intellectual Property and Strategic Competition with China: Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet of the House Committee on the Judiciary

24 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2023

See all articles by Charles Duan

Charles Duan

American University Washington College of Law

Date Written: March 8, 2023

Abstract

Intellectual property intersects with international competitiveness in two distinct ways. The first is defensive. By providing a variety of national and cross-border remedies for infringement, the IP laws deter and prevent misappropriation of American research and development. The importance of strong IP rights in response to IP theft, especially in China, is well-documented and undeniable.

What has been less studied but requires this Committee’s equal attention, however, is how abuses of IP can play an offensive role to the detriment of American innovation. As I detail below, China and Chinese entities are flooding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with questionable patents, have taken steps to dominate international technological consortia, have recrafted patent adjudication in adverse ways, and have even used our own IP enforcement agencies against Americans. Not unlike how hackers exploit cybersecurity vulnerabilities in computer infrastructure, these efforts exploit the infrastructure of patent laws to entangle American innovators and stymie American technologies.

Mitigating China’s offensive use of the IP laws in these ways is just like mitigating any other infrastructure vulnerability: We must take steps to ensure that the IP laws are resilient to the sorts of abuses that undermine our technological leadership and security.

Keywords: patents, intellectual property, technological competitiveness

JEL Classification: O34, O38

Suggested Citation

Duan, Charles, Intellectual Property and Strategic Competition with China: Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet of the House Committee on the Judiciary (March 8, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4388608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4388608

Charles Duan (Contact Author)

American University Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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