No ticket, no laundry

Gen­er­al Motors claims that a rival Chi­nese auto mak­er has infringed it’s intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty rights by steal­ing the design of a small car. But there seems to be a flaw in the GM claim. bq. … the Spark design, which GM obtained in its 2002 acqui­si­tion of South Korea’s for­mer Dae­woo Motor Sales Corp., was nev­er patent­ed in Chi­na and thus isn’t pro­tect­ed by China’s intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty laws, said Zhang Qin, deputy com­mis­sion­er of the State Intel­lec­tu­al Prop­er­ty Office. (“AP via Mia­mi Herald”:http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/breaking_news/9595409.htm) IP is ter­ri­to­ri­al­ly based: in Chi­na, in the USA, every­where. So if the Chi­nese Min­is­ter is right, GM hasn’t much of a legal case on patents. Of course… it may have a case on oth­er aspects of the pro­tec­tion of indus­tri­al designs (the look of the car), depend­ing on whether those were reg­is­tered.

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