Monday, October 23, 2006

Barun Was Correct!!

While reading the Financial Times (FT) newspaper at the airport today I was reminded of a meeting I had at Waterloo Station in London, UK in 2003 with the founder of the Liberty Institute in India - Barun Mitra.

Among a wide range of issues Barun and I discussed Intellectual Property (IP) protection issues. I distinctly remember Barun's comment that day -- ".........we (India, the world's emerging economies) are only going to steal so much (IP), because at some point in the future we will produce our own IP that we will want to legally protect.............." Well the day Barun predicted would come has arrived based on the headline I read in today's FT, "Chinese take to the courts to defend patent rights in US". Chinese companies are "defending their patent rights increasingly aggressively in US courts, legal experts say" -- quoting the FT here.

Sorry to break the news to Pat Buchanan, Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, and all the trade union leaders in the USA that have made their careers by attacking free trade agreements and the USA's trade deficit with China. Granted it is a minor step but Chinese companies are SPENDING MONEY IN THE USA by hiring law firms to protect their IP. Law firms hire secretaries and paralegals plus they spend money on copying costs so eventually this all generates economic activity in the USA. Sadly the attorneys are getting the money at first but eventually the money multiplier effect (probably not taught in our public schools) will kick in to benefit an even greater portion of the economy.

The trade balance evolves,


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