New study finds China gaining advantage in setting technology standards

Posted by scapozzola on 01/18/2013

Yesterday, the Congressionaly mandated U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) released a report entitled “The Rise of China in Technology Standards: New Norms in Old Institutions” that examines the implications for U.S. firms of China’s increasing participation in international technology standard-setting.

The report was written by Dan Breznitz and Michael Murphree of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Their study found that while U.S. firms place a high value on intellectual property protection, China has adopted a fundamentally different approach to intellectual property rights that can disadvantage U.S. companies.

Chinese firms are becoming more aggressive in setting technology standards to gain an advantage in China’s markets and elsewhere.

According to the report, Chinese firms have developed an expertise in the legal and policy aspects of technology standards development that is largely lacking in their American counterparts. Chinese firms keenly understand how to interpret international practices, which gives them the upper hand when facing challenges from U.S. firms in third country markets.

In disputes, the winning side will usually be the one that most completely understands the regulatory system in which they are trying to operate. China’s growing sophistication for operating within the international standardization systems means that China’s perspective on issues important to U.S. firms, such as determining the value of intellectual property, has become more influential.

The report also details how China’s efforts to develop unique or exclusionary technology standards have proven effective at driving down the royalty rates of foreign sources of technology for Chinese firms.

Click here to read the full report.

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