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Firms need more intellectual property protection: Gou

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Terry Gou, chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry, yesterday urged the government to amend laws to provide better intellectual property protection for Taiwan businesses.

Gou made the remarks during an interview with the United Evening News, a day after Morris Chang, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., voiced his concerns over the overwhelming amount of money Taiwan firms spend on patent-related lawsuits.

Chang's remarks came after National Science Council data suggesting that Taiwan's overseas intellectual property deficit stood at US$5 billion in 2011, meaning Taiwan spent US$5.8 billion on IP and earned only US$800 million.

Taiwan firms should work harder to evade “intellectual property landmines,” Chang said.

Yesterday, Gou said he agreed with Chang's views.

“The Taiwan government provides insufficient IP and patent-related protection to Taiwan enterprises,” he said. “And, besides patent protection, there should be more stringent laws protecting sensitive company data, so that job-changing employees leaking major company secrets will be subject to heavier fines.”

At the same time, Gou lamented insufficient IP protection offered to Taiwan businesspeople in China. “The government should face this problem seriously and call on China to offer the kind of IP protection that gives Taiwan enterprises an equal footing while they do business in China.”

According to Gou, Taiwan businesses in China are often subject to noncontractual patent infringement disputes between individual companies. “As of now, mechanisms to settle these types of disputes are lacking in China,” he said.

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