Economists estimate that the US loses anywhere from 200 to 600 billion dollars on an annual basis. There are a number of different ways that IP from the US may be stolen. Some of these include the voluntary sharing of files, computer hacking, and internet scamming.
The US has made increasing efforts to enforce laws surrounding IP theft. Multiple federal agencies are involved in analyzing Chinese data theft. US companies are encouraged to be cautious when working with Chinese companies and to report potentially suspicious dealings to local law enforcement.
It’s common for US partners to be unaware that these dealings are happening until after they’re over. Once the IP has been stolen, it’s often difficult to get back. A defense attorney can help you understand how IP theft happens and what you can do about it.
What Defense Attorneys Do
Defense attorneys can play a vital role during an IP theft case. The threats to US national security have expanded and become much more pressing. Advances in technology and internet communication have made it possible for hackers to target information worth millions of dollars. The theft of intellectual property can cost companies their entire future.
Some economists describe this increase in Chinese cyber attacks as an electronic war between the US and China. This “war” has risks for the IP, data, and intelligence of companies based in the United States. Getting in touch with a qualified attorney can help you take measures to protect your property against theft.
History of IP Theft in China
Countries all over the world have been stealing intellectual property from each other for years. In terms of personal media, most countries began stealing intellectual property by counterfeiting luxury goods, stealing films, and stealing musical records.
China’s history with the US followed in these footsteps. The US entered into memorandums of understanding with the country, which were economic treaties meant to protect US businesses and intelligence. The terms of the MOUs stated that Chinese officials were not permitted to target US government and intelligence officials. However, the agreements were not always followed.
IP theft has become much more widespread and valuable today. Cybercrime is the easiest way to steal intellectual property. The crime is committed by using an internet-connected device to hack into a US data system and steal the technology, information, coding, and other data inside. This has put some strain on US-China diplomatic relations.
Economists and intelligence officials talk about Chinese IP theft as a very real threat to national security. The infrastructure, military intelligence, and economic development of the country is at risk thanks to international cyber crime.
In response to the increase in crimes, US officials have poured more resources into the prosecution of Chinese IP thefts. The DOJ announced that it was going to combat economic espionage in China with a targeted effort in 2018. Chinese officials have been targeting data from every industry, rather than just looking for secrets from defense and military industries.
In early 2020, the US government convened to discuss the threat of Chinese IP theft. The goal was to unite the research industries, academic community, and private business sector, and to explain to them all how they could all be impacted by this global issue.
Combating Theft and Crimes
In the Trade Act of 1974, the president of the United States is given authority to impose sanctions against foreign countries that have posed a threat to IP rights. The US companies that own IP have also successfully defended their rights in China’s courts. With the Economic Espionage Act enacted in 1996, people can be subject to civil and criminal charges for stealing trade secrets.
A lawyer can help you ensure that your secrets are safe.