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.