Interview: U.S. intellectual property law expert calls for more exchanges with China

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-17 10:26:41|Editor: huaxia
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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The United States and China should expand exchanges and collaboration in the field of intellectual property (IP) law, said a U.S. IP law expert.

"It's important for practical reasons (to expand exchanges) because there are so many interactions between the United States and China, and many have some connection to intellectual property," said Robert Merges, a professor of law at University of California, Berkeley, in a recent interview.

He said litigation of IP cases is quite common between the United States and China, the world's two largest economies. "In any commercial exchange, you will have always some number of disputes without being able to predict which ones," said Merges, also co-director of Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

The center has recently hosted a symposium on transnational IP litigation in partnership with China's Tsinghua University for the second time since last year. IP law practitioners and experts specialized in IP from both countries engaged in intensified discussions at the event.

Merges noted it's important to hold such a conference especially at a time when the two countries are undergoing trade tensions.

"It's important to show that even though the two governments have continuing negotiation, at the same time, business is still taking place," he said. "And even though we have more tension or stress, there's still high volume of business across the Pacific."

The exchanges like the conference will help to show that even though big issues are being discussed at a high level, there are still everyday transactions, he added.

"So there's a kind of hope that when we get through the difficulties, and if we can work out a better agreement at the high level, we still have these relationships and the trans-Pacific commerce is still going," said Merges.

Although his center has recently moved to more formal cooperation with Tsinghua University, Merges said he has known Chinese law professors and practitioners for many years.

"I have known the IP professors at Tsinghua many years, and I respect their work. Informally, I've had many students from Tsinghua, and I've had many visits to China, and have lectures in Tsinghua back to even 2014 or 2015," he said.

Merges has maintained good friendships with top Chinese universities, including Peking University, Renmin University, China University of Political Science and Law, Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

"This IP community is very global. So we come to China, and then my friends from China come here. We have good contact back and forth. I have a student, who was trained at Peking University, came to Berkeley for PhD and now went back to Peking as a postdoc," said Merges.

"I have many former students in China, so I like to see them when I visit China. We have a big Berkeley alumni group, and I like to catch up and see who's working on what topics, who is married, who has a baby, you know, they are my big family -- all my big kids," he said.