Site icon Duncan Bucknell

Germany, Chinese copies and misdirected "strategy"

“German mechanical engineering companies
increasingly decide not to file for patent protection as they believe
that the patents may be used by Chinese competitors, who study the
patents to copy inventions…
The VDMA advises its members only to file for patent protection if the invention requires considerable know how.”

(Please see IPKat for the full story.)

It is only January, and I can see this is already going to be up there as one of the most ridiculous IP statements of the year. This is wrong on so many levels, here’s just a few:

  1. If they don’t copy the patent, they will copy the product itself – and guess how much chance you have to stop them without a patent.
  2. If your market is only in Germany, or does not include China, then fine, don’t file a patent there, but that doesn’t mean you should give away the rest of the world.
  3. The fact that people are copying you (in whatever country) is also an opportunity. If they can make it cheaper – great, go get a court order that they stop or take a licence. Yes, this is easily possible in China today.
  4. Invest in understanding and making the most of countries such as China – don’t bury your head in the sand.
  5. You can’t file a patent for an invention and hope that it won’t be reverse engineered due to the know how you didn’t put in the specification. That happens to be a ground of invalidity.
  6. This is such an out of date view of China, that I’m incredulous.
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