Where’s the Anger About Chinese Stealing Ideas?


Lack of Response to Federal Investigation Is Puzzling.
Were You Ripped Off? Now Is the Time To Tell Your Story.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Shortly after I posted this story, I heard from my friends at the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) regarding a survey they are doing pertaining to the USITC investigation. I want to pass on this information to you, so you can participate, if you wish. The MIC is surveying members and compiling comments on IP infringement. If you’re an MIC member, you can find more information on the MIC survey here. The survey will take only a few minutes to complete. The MIC’s Paul Vitrano told me today that powersports companies are participating and providing data for an industry comment package. “The more responses that we receive,” he says, “the more thorough comments we will be able to submit. For details on the MIC project, contact Scot Begovich (sbegovich@mic.org) or Paul Vitrano (pvitrano@mic.org) or call the MIC at (949) 727-4211.

I’ve been hearing complaints about the Chinese stealing designs and ideas from other manufacturers for years— at EICMA, at Dealer Expo, in private conversations— it’s a topic that never fails to generate comments. Until now.

Now, when the federal government is investigating cases of Chinese companies stealing intellectual property, nobody wants to talk about it. I wrote about the investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) several weeks ago, but there’s been virtually no response from the business community. There’s a public hearing scheduled for June 15, 2010, but there’s been virtually no response from the powersports industry. Zero. None. Read my previous post here.

What’s up? Too busy? Don’t care? Don’t want to get involved? I suppose it doesn’t matter why no one has responded to the USITC’s requests for comments, the only thing that matters is that the commission isn’t getting the information it needs to help solve the problem.

“We are all rather surprised that there has been so little interest expressed outside the agency, in spite of our best efforts to publicize the investigation,” said a source at the USITC, who asked not to be identified.

Although the deadline for requests to appear is June 1, it looks as though the deadline probably will be pushed back to allow prospective witnesses more time.

Here’s the bottom line: For all the talk about the Chinese theft of intellectual property, very few seem to want to place their allegations or experiences on the record. “Without something specific, there aren’t any remedies to pursue,” says my guy at the USITC.

Will you step up and discuss your experiences? If you feel strongly about this situation, now is your chance to talk about it and perhaps get the folks in Washington to do something to protect your interests. It’s up to you. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas at
jdelmont@dealernews.com or 952/893-6876

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5 Responses to “Where’s the Anger About Chinese Stealing Ideas?”

  1. Joe Oborny Says:

    The Chinese stealing ideas is nothing new. Seems that it usually starts with someone other than being Chinese having Chinese kids taking the idea into production. If you think I am talking smack try to buy a Christmas card that is Made in the USA. Greed & stealing ideas seem to go hand in hand except one hand holds money & our hand holds the pinkslip. Wake up America. Buy Smart.

  2. Mary Luetschwager Says:

    Try to find something sold in the USA that is made in the USA? Good Luck!
    Instead of the politicians sending aid all over the world, they need to spend some money here in the USA, building factories and hiring all the people out of work to produce goods and services. Subsidize these places and sell the products at a price that the consumer can afford!
    Give US(A) a choice to buy American! We will!
    Use our TAX $$$$$ to help US(A), not give it away to those who probably don’t appreciate it!
    And, KICK those ungrateful morons out of our Universities that study here for next to nothing (wish my family could do that) and then go out and insult our country by wishing death to the (infidels?)

  3. Jan Miller Says:

    It is high time that America starts producing something again and stop the outright stealing of our ideas, products etc. The Chinese cheap, poorly manufactured scooter/atv market killed the US dealer’s market for these products! I can’t believe that no one has come forward to testify to this. I had to close my biz in Dec 09 and one (of multiple) factor was definitely the decline/loss of that atv/scooter business! You can’t buy a product for $5 and expect to make $30/hour. The decline in product quality and low prices is enormous – continuing like this will turn us into a third world country where you earn pennies!

  4. Matthew Says:

    I am not mimimizing the problem, but look at the situation with Apple. There are fake Iphone 4G models and Ipads already on the market (and the Iphone is not even out in that version yet!). If a company their size and with the clout they have in China can’t get a crackdown made on the copies what makes you think we as an industry can? I also have to comment on the replies about buy American. I love the idea, but the reality is that consumers vote with their wallet and the vast majoirity (and I do mean 80+% I would guess) will make the “I want to buy American” speech, but when presented with 2 wheels, that look identical, and one is made in the US and the other is made in China, with a price difference of $23.00 per wheel, they end up buying the China made one with comments that basically try to convince you why they would be idiots to spend almost $100.00 more for a set of wheels that look the same. I have seen it happen.

  5. Brian Goninan Says:

    This past weekend was Memorial Day and as tradition dictates I brought out the American flag to proudly display it in my front yard. I noticed it was getting old and faded .So I went to my local hardware store to buy a new one and found the only American flags they had were made in China. I couldn’t bring mayself to buy one. Not only was it a print, but not even stiched. Looked and felt cheap and I’m sure would not last outside exposed to the weather. Still looking for one made in America but so far without luck. This has really opened my eyes. Just think…Our Nations symbol made in China. China has a way of copying everthing but it is always made poorly. Just like in our industry.

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