Xiaomi Has Patents But No New Ideas

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May 10, 2015 by ...

Lei Jun was quoted on how innovative Xiaomi is. You can follow the link at the end or just take my word for it.

Yeah, thought you’d say that, so here goes…

Lei Jun shows his creativity spliced onto to his funny bone when he claims that people misunderstand Xiaomi and think they don’t respect innovation nor have patents. 

On point #1 I’d agree. Lei Jun respects advanced technology so much that he’s created a company with no other purpose then to purloin, repackage and sell it. As for patents, he is bluffing. Lei Jun backed his claim by saying his team had applied for 2318 patents last year and 665 out of China. Wow, what stunning numbers! I bet North Korea appreciates the ideas he’s funneled their way.

But seriously, ~1600 patents? And in China?

‘Junk patents’ is what that IP protection is called here. The reasons for this moniker are numerous. The government set its sights on being a tech powerhouse and writing patents was the yardstick. In good command-economy fashion, the troops set out to writin’. 

As a result of all that effort, China went from scribbling a bakers dozen of patents per annum to a veritable patent machine, quality be damned. People got boatloads of cash for patents for square chairs and circular bowls. Corrupt officials got into the act and transformed themselves into Wang Franklins. 

The latest of these was a town police official with over 150 patents to his name. He’d innovate things like dust covers for red lights and force the city to use them. Of course he got rich on the lisence fees, but China made its numbers. 

If townie yokels got into the act, you can imagine to what lengths ‘prestigious’ universities went to. After all, they had the same mandate. Consequently China is now officially the home of more useless ideas than any other nation. 

If not for this WordPress app and my inability to figure out how to link to sites, I’d hook you up, but for now you’ll simply have to trust me. Around 2010 The Economist did a piece on China’s junk patents. Another interesting tidbit to search is how China defined indigenous innovstion as ‘tweaking foreign ideas’, I mean that literally. Google search that term and ‘China push for indigenous innovation &US Chamber of commerce….scre it, I’ll link to it below.

Where was I?

Ok, I’m not really sure where I was going with that rant, but now is time to wrap this puppy up. Lei Jun was quoted as saying he and his were misunderstood. What we took to be IP theft was merely a $40 billion homage to all those ideas he really liked. In fact, he enjoyed them so much that he created their twins and decided to share them with 8 billion of his best friends.

Lei also plays the ‘don’t hate card’ by saying his corp has patent cred. This is proved by his crew filing 1000+ patents in the land where no such thing is left behind. Or in the words of One Chinese expert ,’All you need to do is fill out the paperwork properly and the patent is yours,’

I’m not from Missouri but lived close enough to learn that ‘show me’ is the best reply to all specious claims.
Links

-Lei Jun quotes

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2871172/xiaomi-beefs-up-its-patent-portfolio-amid-legal-troubles-in-india.html

-Good Artie on Chinese junk patents and Oz

http://blog.patentology.com.au/2014/01/chinese-junk-patents-revisited-2013.html
-one by China Daily

http://ipr.chinadaily.com.cn/2011-03/06/content_12126586.htm
-good overview of Chinese patents

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2014/03/27/patent-quality-in-china/id=48720/
-US Chamber of Commerce

https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/legacy/reports/1211_china_patent_paper.pdf
-The Economist

http://www.economist.com/node/17257940

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