The U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of five Chinese military hackers on May 19, 2014. Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui were charged with computer hacking, economic espionage and other offenses directed at Americans in the nuclear power, metals, and solar products industries.
Given that Chinese counterfeiting has benefits as well as costs, and considering China's historical resistance to Western pressure, trying to push China to change its approach to intellectual property law is not worth the political and diplomatic capital the United States is spending on it.
The Supreme Court ruled on June 13, 2013, that Myriad Genetics could not patent human genes they isolated from the bloodstream, because the company "did not create anything," but that synthetic forms of the genes may be eligible for patents.
The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property (The IP Commission), with members from the "private sector and public service in national security and foreign affairs, academe, and politics," released its report on May 22, 2013. The Commission addresses theft by cyber means and pinpoints China as a main concern.
Representatives from U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, State, Treasury, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative collaborated to create this strategy, addressing threats to the intellectual property and innovation of the U.S. economy.
Two controversial U.S. anti-piracy bills have spotlighted the growing challenge of how to protect intellectual copyrights, particularly across international borders, without compromising Internet freedom.
Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Darrell Issa proposed on January 18, 2012, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) as an alternative for SOPA and PIPA, two Congressional bills related to intellectural property online that opponents said compromised free speech, innovation, access to information online, and the infrastructure of the Internet. In 2013, the House introduced Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
Senator Patrick Leahy introduced PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA)) on May 12, 2011; the House introduced a similar bill, SOPA, on October 26, 2011. PIPA's goal is to prevent access to "rogue websites dedicated to the sale of infringing or counterfeit goods." Opponents of the bills state that they will restrict free speech, innovation, integrity of online infrastructure, and access to online information and proposed Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN Act). In 2013, the House introduced Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
Reforms of the U.S. patent system have made it too easy to obtain and defend patents and more costly to challenge patent decisions, thereby limiting the competition of ideas, discouraging innovation, and ultimately reducing U.S. competitiveness, argues a new Council Special Report.
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The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »