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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Google-China – Is “leaving China” a Whistle for a “Cyber War”?

Since the announcement of “A New Approach to China” by David Drummond (Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer of Google Inc) on January 12, 2010, the incident is not merely a commercial one, but is upgraded as a whistle for a “Cyber War” in a fortnight!

Apart from the possible “Cyber War”, it also ignites again the crisis of the diplomatic relationship between China and the USA just within two weeks. It is interesting to note that USA is making this incident more juicy and spicy while China remains silent!

When Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State made an announcement of the same during her official visit at South Pacific on January 21, 2010, it indicates that the trust on cyber territories between China and the USA is collapsing. Furthermore, it is developed into a “Presidential level” when Barack Obama expressed that he is “troubled” about Google-China is being “cyber attacked” and he “wants answers”!

Even the Office of the United States Trade Representative (美國貿易處) is considering to lodge a complaint to World Trade Organization (“WTO”) about China’s intervening the cyber limitation which is violating the international trading ordinances.

One of the major differences in their approaches is, possibly that there is a huge variation on the definition of “cyber privacy concept” between China and the USA.

There are many USA enterprises which are establishing their offices in China, for instance, the garment industry, the luxury brands and the pharmaceutical products. If Google-China is to withdraw from the territory, it may be a “green light” for other corporations as these industries require a high degree of intellectual property rights (“IP rights”).

Comparing with other hot issues like human rights, Tibet, sale of military weapon to Taiwan etc., this particular “cyberattack” seems playing a more essential role for USA enterprises to leave China. As a majority of Chinese are concerned about their “face” issues, the USA could take this incident as a “stepping from the stage”, i.e. to provide a good chance for those corporations to leave China in a graceful manner.

Furthermore, as quoted from an article “In Digital Combat, US finds no easy Deterrent” of New York Times on 25 January 2010,

“ … After that, the trail disappeared into a cloud of angry Chinese government denials, and then an ugly exchange of accusations between Washington and Beijing. That continued Monday, with Chinese assertions that critics were trying to “denigrate China” and that the United States was pursuing “hegemonic domination” in cyberspace. These recent events demonstrate how quickly the nation’s escalating cyberbattles have outpaced the rush to find a deterrent, something equivalent to the cold-war-era strategy of threatening nuclear retaliation. …”

You may see the original article here.

Dramatically, Barack Obama has announced their coming decision of the sale of military weapon to Taiwan in a high profile, which is after the last sale from President George Bush in 2008. At the same time, with the recent state-visit of Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou to Central America, the diplomatic relationship among China, Taiwan and the USA will draw more attention from the world-stage.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

“World Expo Court”, a Privilege to World Expo Shanghai

“Welcoming World Expo, Fighting Against Piracy”

The “Shanghai World Expo” is definitely a milestone in the contemporary history of China at the last year of the 21st century’s first decade.

The term “World Expo Court” in the announcement (dated 25 December 2009) from the State Intellectual Property Office (“SIPO”) is absolutely an “eye candy” for me! It seems to be a “privilege” to China as this is tailor-made for the Shanghai World Expo.

This “World Expo Court” will definitely play a special role during the Expo period (i.e. 168 days/half-year running from 1 May to 31 October 2010). What kind of legal cases it will deal with? Does it imply that a great deal of “intellectual property” issues would happen? Who will be plaintiffs and the defendants? All those relevant issues come to my mind, say the logo, trademark, theme-song, the mascot, the tickets (9 different types of tickets) and even the Expo staff, the participants, the audience may occur.

Furthermore, I am also curious about the credibility of the judges, legal clerks, staff, their qualifications, identities, documents, news etc.

There is an old Chinese saying: “There is no silver being buried” which means “someone does something deliberately to tell others that he is innocent”.

Besides being the “world factory”, everyone knows China is a “paradise” for different types of infringement of luxury goods and even food and drinks – sadly to say so.

Can you imagine it is dramatic if a foreign luxury brand finds its fake products in one of the booths at the Expo Shanghai?

If a “World Expo Court” could handle any legal cases or legal disputes incurred during the period, would it be a great chance for them to showcase to the world that there are “Intellectual Property Rights” in China?

It reminds me another famous quote in China in the last decade: “Everything is fake except the liars in China”.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Speedy patent application drafting

I think our company break a record. From instruction to filing: Two days.

Meaning we have about 24 hours to handle one patent application.

Of course, it is not started from nothing. We were presented with a filed US patent, foreign filing right will expire the next day. So we still go though the normal process: (1) translate the US (English) Patent Application into Chinese; (2) rewrite the Chinese Patent Application suitable for filing to SIPO; (3) retouch on patent drawing; (4) fill up the right forms and (5) filing the same to SIPO.

And there are still follow-up actions, including the filing of Power of Attorney and the original Priority Certificate.

The only step we skipped is customer confirmation. We cannot wait for client confirmation because of time-zone difference, and we will fix any error later.

And because the client was thinking and thinking whether they should file the US patent to China, it took them 363 days to think, and we have 2 days to work on it.

And we did not charge extra for this urgent work, because this is a good customer who pay us really fast.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google is leaving China

I guess everybody knew this already. I just want to pick up (and translate) a few interesting lines that may be non-Chinese reader missed in their daily news.

1. Sending flower illegally.

Once the news was spread around China, there are people in Beijing and Shanghai who sent flower (personally) to Google offices in these two cities. Then certain government departments announced that sending flower to Google offices need pre-approval. That is, a lot of people are sending flower illegally.

2. Someone's comment:

It is not Google leaving China, it is China leaving the world.

3. In twitter, this is the one of the hottest tag: #googlecn.

4. Google removed any filtering in it's search engine in China immediately. All of a sudden, it was reported that search engines of other local Chinese companies also lifted their filtering. Not because they want to support Google. It was reported that they actually use as their backend (without paying a license fee to Google). What a country of IP protection!

Enjoy the freedom while you can, and tomorrow may be you cannot access gmail in China!