Since its reopening to foreign trade in the late 1990s, China has been the poster child of intellectual property piracy and counterfeiting. Virtually every year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) lists China on its watch list or priority watch list. The country’s piracy and counterfeiting problems have also been frequently mentioned in connection with international intellectual property enforcement initiatives, such as the highly controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the equally problematic domestic legislative proposals for heightened copyright enforcement. In a recent report, the International Trade Commission estimated that “firms in the U.S. [intellectual property]–intensive economy that conducted business in China in 2009 reported losses of approximately $48.2 billion in sales, royalties, or license fees due to [intellectual property rights] infringement in China.”
Peter K. Yu, The Rise and Decline of the Intellectual Property Powers, 34 Campbell L. Rev. 525 (2012).