Companies Do Less R&D in Countries that Steal Intellectual Property

The conclusions of Gupta and Wang, quoted below, are consistent with research done many years ago by economist Edwin Mansfield.

(p. A15) China’s indigenous innovation program, launched in 2006, has alarmed the world’s technology giants more than any other policy measure since the start of economic reforms in 1978. A recent report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce even went so far as to call this program “a blueprint for technology theft on a scale the world has not seen before.”
. . .
A comparison with India is illustrative. India has no equivalent to indigenous innovation rules. The government also is content to allow companies to set up R&D facilities without any rules about sharing technology with local partners or the like.
These policy differences appear to have a significant influence on corporate behavior. Consider the top 10 U.S.-based technology giants that received the most patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) between 2006 and 2010: IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Micron, GE, Cisco, Texas Instruments, Broadcom and Honeywell.
Half of these companies appear not to be doing any significant R&D work in China. Between 2006 and 2010, the U.S. PTO did not award a single patent to any China-based units of five out of the 10 companies. In contrast, only one of the 10 did not receive a patent for an innovation developed in India.

For the full commentary, see:
Anil K. Gupta and Haiyan Wang. “How Beijing Is Stifling Chinese Innovation.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., September 1, 2011): A15.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the title “Beijing Is Stifling Chinese Innovation.”)

Mansfield’s relevant paper is:
Mansfield, Edwin. “Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property: Effects on Investment, Technology Transfer, and Innovation.” In Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology, edited by M. E. Mogee M. B. Wallerstein, and R. A. Schoen. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1993, pp. 107-45.

Mansfield’s research on this issue is discussed on pp. 1611-1612 of:
Diamond, Arthur M., Jr. “Edwin Mansfield’s Contributions to the Economics of Technology.” Research Policy 32, no. 9 (Oct. 2003): 1607-17.

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