Chinas Design- und Technologieklau geht weiter
Die New York Times widmet sich mal wieder dem laxen Umgang chinesischer Firmen mit dem "geistigen Eigentum" westlicher Entwickler: As China's emerging industrial centers go, Guiyang is an obscure outpost, bearing little resemblance to the booming factory towns of the east coast. And yet, as much as any other place in China this hard drive assembly may be at the front line of an intense global struggle to dominate high-tech manufacturing. The tiny storage device this factory churns out is the heart of one of the world's hottest consumer electronics items, the mini version of Apple Computer's iPod. Sales to Apple represent a huge triumph for GS Magic Stor, an offshoot of a struggling state-owned carmaker that is so obscure that even in China few are familiar with the name. The problem with this ringing success story, according to a better-established rival, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, which has factories in China and also supplies miniaturized drives to Apple, is that the Chinese company stole crucial elements of the design. GS Magic Stor denies this charge, which Hitachi has made in a suit filed in Federal District Court in Northern California. In a recent online forum the company's president ridiculed Hitachi's claim, likening it to someone's asking carmakers to pay design rights to the inventors of the horse and buggy. A Hitachi official, who refused to comment further, said that GS Magic Stor could characterize the Hitachi patents however it wished, "but the plain and simple matter is they haven't expired." Hitachi's highly technical complaint specifies several areas where it says its designs were infringed by Magic Stor. ... For Western companies competing with China as well as those doing business here, the issue goes well beyond the fate of one obscure company or of a single technology, however valuable. In one sector after another, companies warn that China's swift industrial rise is being greased by brazen and increasingly sophisticated theft of intellectual property. ... The Chinese government has recently razed the market, but the counterfeit activity has been moving relentlessly upscale, with General Motors, Cisco, Sony and Pfizer, just to name the most high-profile companies, complaining that their designs or formulas for everything from cars and PlayStations to routers and Viagra, have been violated.