IP Protection: How Small Firms Can Recognize And Head Off Product Piracy
Pieter Bruegel The Elder "Painter and Buyer" in Albertina, Vienna
Recently, we have seen a new kind of threat—one that comes not from upstart foreign manufacturers and distributors but from the companies that have historically been our best customers. Companies that have prospered from selling components to multinational companies based in North America, Europe and Japan are getting squeezed.
What had been a collaborative process has now become more adversarial, as some multinational customers have tried to exploit my clients’ valuable design capabilities and production methods, ultimately by contracting with low-cost Asian manufacturers to actually produce the product.
Our oldest and best customers, some of the top companies in the world, aren’t the kind of pirates we usually worry about; but when they exploit our expertise while not allowing us to make a profit, the threat is just as real.
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