Sino-U.S. Bilateral Exchanges Need to be Enhanced in IP

2011/09/01,By Athena Hou, China IP,[Copyright]

AS Mr. Gold says, he is one of many young contemporaries in Europe for China. We must pay attention to a general lack of understanding; and both the American people and the need to strengthen exchanges on a deeper level so that we can slow down the resistance to meaningful communication. So it seems, the two countries have a long road of mutual communication and understanding to walk before we can put this matter to rest.
Over the last 10 years, the IPR Working Group has witnessed China’s efforts to curb the dramatic increase of IP violations that affect its economic order, its innovative capacity and the rights of its consumers. We have seen positive developments as well with regards to the attitude of officials and their knowledge of IP.
The Senate of the United States of America is an institution both familiar and strange to the Chinese people. We feel acquainted with the Senate because it appears everywhere, whether in the inspiring American blockbusters or in various news reports. As the core legislature, the Senate controls the lifeline of the U.S., and also makes critical decisions about which bills and acts will be debated; which surely include intellectual property law.
On the other hand, the Senate seems extremely strange to the vast majority of the Chinese people, because few understand the procedures through which decisions are made. These are decisions that affect the entire United States and the world, yet only a few experts and government officials know a great deal about it.
This May, a book called “The Big Institution—A Introduction to the United States Senate” hit the Chinese market in low key. And the author of this book is that we interview's leading role – the overseas heritage protection committee, congress, expert, partner of Convington & Burling Law Firm Washington House, Martin B. Gold.
As a celebrated Congress expert, Mr. Gold has over thirty-five years of legislative experience in the public and private sectors. His prior U.S. Senate experience included service as counsel to former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker and counsel to former Senator Mark O. Hatfield. His new book “The Big Institution – A Introduction to the United States Senate”, laboring the mechanism and operation of the US Senate on the basis of Mr. Gold’s multiple years’ experience, can be seen as an important reference to the research on the US Congress.
In preparation for this interview the China IP reporter borrowed a copy of this book to help understand why the US Senate was curious about China’s intellectual property issues.
China IP: First of all, congratulations on the publication of the Chinese version of your new book in Beijing. How do you describe your new book?
Martin B. Gold: My book mainly tells about the structure of the U.S. Senate and summarizes my decades of experience working in the institution. Besides, the Americans need to know more about the Chinese, and the Chinese need to know more about the Americans. So this is also the goal of my book – to get people on both sides know each other better. The Senate is a good start to get to know the U.S.A. and her people.
China IP: Any particular expectation on the sales?
Martin B. Gold: How many people are there in China? (Laugh…) I hope that the book will be an interest to take the academic institutions and people for some reasons to be interested in the United States and will give them a picture of very important part of the United States government. I think it will be an interest to students, academic institutions, maybe institutions of foreign policies. So I don’t know how many readers that is or how many books there are, but I hope this book will help.
China IP: Do you have any copyright concerns of your new book in China, as the writer and a lawyer?
Martin B. Gold: Thanks to the support of China Association of International Friendly Connection (CAIFC), the Chinese version got smoothly published. The CAIFC helped on the translation, proofreading and the final publication, as well as copyright issues. I trust them.
China IP: In 2006, you were appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. For Chinese readers, they may not be familiar about it, would you please give us a brief introduction on the commission and your role in it?
Martin B. Gold: Our commission, which has 24 members, was begun in 1985, a time when Soviet Union was still in exists, and people who had some kind of cultural relations with the countries of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union did not really have too much opportunity to be able to get in touch with their own cultural heritage. This travel was not easy, and because those governments were not very effective to preserve the cultural heritage ever related to these people.
For example, my own family came from Czarist Russia, and that part of Russia where there was a lot of cultural heritage, and also not easy to get to, not easy to travel to. Not just because of plane reservation but because governments were not friendly. They came in those areas that were largely inaccessible to Americans. So Congress created a commission to preserve America’s heritage abroad. If you can imagine, there was a cemetery in Eastern Europe, and it was in bad condition because the local government was not preserving it. There is cultural relationship between people living in America and that cemetery. So the commission was developed so that money could be raised by your citizens and the United States government will put into that country with permission of the local government and repair the heritage of people, so that the heritage could be reserved for generations to come as a hold to the heritage dying. That’s the purpose of the commission, to preserve the heritage.
But my project, which I did between 2007 and 2008, was different. It was related to the heritage of Jewish people who lived in Austria in the late 1930s, and who are going to be victims of the Nazi parties, fascist government. And they were saved by many, 2000 of them, by the work of a Chinese diplomat, Dr. Hu Fengshan, who worked in Vienna from 1938 to 1940, vote visas to Shanghai which got these people out of Europe and saved their lives. So the difference of this project was to take in some physical structure and make it new again, instead of repairing his cemetery, or repairing his building. What we did was that we took the story of the diplomat, who saved so many people’s lives, how we brought that story back to life, and we honored him in three cities in 2008, in Washington, in Shanghai and in Vienna, Austria. If you go today to the Jewish Refugees’ Museum in Hongkou Section, Shanghai, you’ll see a plaque. It was taken there by the United States government in three languages Chinese, English and Hebrew to honor the work of the diplomats to commemorate that history. And that’s another way of bringing it to life of the heritage of American people.
China IP: The Sino-US bilateral trade has always been the core concern of both countries, while disputes respecting IP affairs take up a large proportion. What do you think of these IP disputes? Is there any possibility that the growing IP disputes between China and US will result in anything serious, say impacts on the political level?
Martin B. Gold: For these years I work in the Senate, I’ve visited China with three different congressional delegations. Each time these IP problems rose. This is because that intellectual property is valuable. I think such problems were not raised out of spite purpose, but because of the widespread concern. The core of our discussion lied in China’s obligation on IP protection under a standard that the international arena can widely accept. The good news is that we could always get positive responses from the Chinese government each time the problems were raised.
Intellectual property rights are very important, and I believe that the Chinese government has fully recognized the importance of the intellectual property rights, which has been fully confirmed in previous visits of the congressional delegation. What’s in need to be noted is that more American companies will bring their patents to China, if the intellectual property protection situation here gradually improved, otherwise their motivation may be damaged and gone. I believe, however, that China will do better in intellectual property protection, and the U.S. enterprises will also have more confidence in China. Because in my experience, once the Chinese government decided to do something, it would probably succeed.
China IP: To your affluent legislative and Senate experience, any event, discussion, or opinions worth mentioning regarding IP issues, especially those concerning China. And what are the real views of the Senators, as well as some US enterprises with a mind to invest in China on the current situation of Chinese IP?
Martin B. Gold: It is not easy to sum up the whole thing in a word. I think no senator would regard the intellectual property as an unimportant issue. What needs to be clarified is that some groups of senators do pay special attention to certain subjects while the majority rest stay silent. There is no exception on the intellectual property issues. So whenever such problems are put on the table, the Chinese need to learn to tell whether they represent the mainstream of the Senate. For senators, each of his proposals serves just as the opinion expression. And as influential figures, they want their opinions be paid attention to. On the other hand, most of the Senate resolutions are law, even if some of them would probably become law some day. On the basic level, and there is no substantial changes. Senators just hope to arouse the attention of Chinese authorities to get the IP problems solved.
China IP: What’s your impression of China?
Martin B. Gold: Each time my wife and I came to China, I feel like I am coming home. She is a wonderful country. I’m beyond pleased to get my book published in China.
The United States senate launched of a new round of intellectual property initiatives regarding China last spring. On May 18th, 35 senators filed a statement requesting the senate further strengthen the United States demands in China for patent protection and general respect for intellectual property rights. This is done almost every year in staged events. In recent years they have surged in America and as a result we have seen increased use of the 337 survey regarding unfair competition in trade with China. This inevitably leads to concerns about IP awareness and future cooperation in trade with China. However, as Mr. Gold says, he is one of many young contemporaries in Europe for China. We must pay attention to a general lack of understanding; and both the American people and the need to strengthen exchanges on a deeper level so that we can slow down the resistance to meaningful communication. So it seems, the two countries have a long road of mutual communication and understanding to walk before we can put this matter to rest.

(Translated by Athena Hou)

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