China recognized the significance of intellectual property as early as the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 617-906]. This recognition took the form of strict protection for some books, symbols, and products associated with the emperor. Although some scholars consider these ancient rules a seminal source of copyright law, these restrictions on unauthorized reproduction in fact offered little, if any, overall legal protection for intellectual property. Instead the dynasty sought to promote imperial control and power, not to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts," to borrow the Madisonian phrase from the United States Constitution. Regardless of the objectives and effectiveness of these ancient Chinese legal regimes, no link remains between China's modern intellectual property institutions and the Tang Dynasty.
International piracy of intellectual property rights has emerged as one of the most important foreign policy issues for many industrialized countries, particularly the United States. U.S. companies have suffered greatly from the lack of rigorous and uniform international standards for intellectual property rights. The absence of intellectual property laws in developing countries costs U.S. firms one dollar for every three dollars of revenue gained from exported products, PhRMA, Opportunities and Challenges for Pharmaceutical Innovation 3 (1996), while inadequate international enforcement of existing laws is estimated to cost U.S. industry up to $80 billion per year. Report of the United States Trade Representative's Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee (IGPAC) to the Congress of the United States on the Agreements Reached in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations 22 (1994).
Following are excerpts from a panel discussion entitled "IP Protection for Modern Technology" which was part of the Federalist Society's 1999 National Lawyers Convention. The convention took place November 11-13, 1999, in Washington, D.C.
Chris Rogers (Vice Chairman, IP Practice Group Federalist Society):
I'd like now to introduce our distinguished moderator, Judge Randall Rader. President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the United States Claims Court in 1988. President George Bush nominated Judge Rader to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 1990. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Rader served members of the House of Representatives from '75 to '80, and was Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee from '80 to `88.