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January 04, 2021

Comments

"[T]he IPO 'continue[s] to believe that legislative action is needed' to address Supreme Court decisions that have 'detrimentally affected areas such as precision medicine & artificial intelligence and risk[] a chilling effect on further developments and investment in these critical technologies.'"

This is very true. Regrettably, I am dubious that this Congress (or the next, or the one after that) is at all likely to fix this problem. Still and all, it is quite right for the IPO to raise the issue.

"On the issue of trade secret protection, the letter states that '[i]nadequate protection of trade secrets abroad harms not only companies whose property is stolen, but also the country where the theft occurs, because companies are then less likely to form joint ventures and make high-value investments in those countries.'"

This is probably true, but I do not really know what the Biden administration (or any other U.S. administration) can do about this. Intellectual property law is a matter for each sovereign jurisdiction to arrange to suit its own sovereign purposes. When the day comes that China decides that it is losing more from forced tech transfers than it is gaining, then forced tech transfers will end. I am dubious that forced tech transfers will cease even a day sooner on account of the U.S. jawboning China about the issue.

Besides, what is it to the U.S.A. if companies' trade secrets are coercedly disclosed? The U.S. government exists for the benefit of its citizens. Companies are not citizens, and do not behave like they think of themselves as citizens.

Companies who wish to compete in the international market must protect their own interests by prudence and cunning. It is not for the U.S. government to nurse them as if they were children.

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