Intellectual Property Circus

In the Hutong.
Chinese New Year. Day 3.
Late Afternoon

The part of me that genuinely believes that Linux will actually amount to something like a mainstream operating system joined Penguins the world over celebrating the judicial ass-kicking that SCO took from U.S. Federal Judge Dale Kimball yesterday for not coughing up any evidence to support its IPR violation claims so far in its legal action against IBM.

What increasingly concerns me, however, is what the Chinese may make of this. Here we are trying to make the case to the Chinese to protect our intellectual property, even taking it to the WTO, and at the same time showing them how IPR can be used by a frustrated, pissant company to stifle the growth and development of an important technology.

If I were a Chinese judicial or technology official watching this from afar, I would say “these sorts of legal piff-paffs are fine for a developed economy, but we cannot afford to have every opportunist and his brother tying down the development of our most critical sectors because they think their rights have been violated.”

And even though that’s obviously a single-factor view of the issue, it has its points for China.