Tesla’s Chinese Road Bump

There have been a few eye opening stories coming out of China about intellectual property issues. Apple is having its headaches. Tesla is as well.  These companies can foot the bill to figure out how to deal with their travails. They have likely decided that this bill will be worth it considering the business opportunity at hand. But taking a step back from these stories, where is Chinese IP law headed?

That is an interesting story worth following.  Commenting on the Apple debacle, Tim Worstall writes for Forbes

… China in general, Chinese courts and Chinese companies are only going to start taking the protection of IP seriously when they’ve got some of their own IP to protect.

He may be right. But think about it. He is making two points. The first one is that law is local – not universal. In other words, law works when it meets local expectations — not universal standards. The second point is that the Chinese legal system itself is not capable of self-reform. It will only upgrade its performance when forces from the outside (in this case, Chinese business interests) compel it to do so.

Now take this thought one step further.  China is not unique with respect to either of the above points. And at present there are no organized forces  compelling upgrade of legal system performance around the world.

Does that make you just a bit nervous?

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