After Getting Its Technology From Abroad, China Starts Filing High-Speed Rail Patents In Japan And Europe

china harmony train

China is regularly accused of abusing the global intellectual property system, either by ignoring it completely, or aggressively incorporating technology that was developed by outsiders into its own products that it sells (which is something of a grey area, it seems).

Now they’re taking it to the next level.

According to China Daily (via Daily Yomiuri), China is now filing patent applications on high speed rail in United States, Brazil, Europe, Russia and Japan. 8 of its 21 original patent applications have already been successful.

The outrage in Japan, which is a home of high-speed rail technology, is predictable.

Here’s the Daily Yomiuri’s take on the news:

China has developed high-speed railway cars through technology licenses from companies in Japan, Germany, France and Canada. Under the licensing agreements, China’s use of the expertise was to be limited to domestic application, an informed source said.

The Chinese government has said its high-speed rail technology was developed completely on its own, with an official at the Railways Ministry saying, “We adopted it [the technology from overseas], digested it, absorbed it and innovated based on it.”

Of the places where Beijing has filed for the patents, the United States, Brazil and Russia have high-speed railway development projects. With the patent filings, China is apparently trying to gain an advantage in the competition to win sizable contracts.

China’s bullet train is based on the “Hayate” model, which runs on the Tohoku Shinkansen line.

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