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I’m feeling Mitt on China and intellectual property

The United States Patent and Trademark Office today issued a notice asking U.S. patent and trademark holders to chime in on the difficulties they may be having enforcing their patents and trademarks in China.

China bashing has been part of the political rhetoric of late, with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney recently laying in to the Asian Tiger for stealing American inventions. For example, as reported by Bloomberg News, Mr. Romney has called for a free-trade zone for countries that don’t go around dissing American inventors. Mr. Romney has also called out China on violating copyright law as well.

I can relate to Mr. Romney’s concerns. I don’t know if I’ve been hit just by spam or something more sinister, but last week I received three e-mails from an alleged Chinese firm claiming that they were in the process of registering my domain name as a “.cn.” They said that while they acknowledge that I would be concerned about this (like, duh, you think), they wanted to go ahead and register my name so that they could sell goods under the domain name.

They also recommended that I buy the domain name, plus some other derivatives of it, and that they would gladly send the price list.

Hmmm. I can hear the theme from “The Godfather” in the background.

Why would any Chinese consumer buy goods and services from an “altondrew.cn” given that the name belongs to a Afro-Carib-Irish guy living in Atlanta with an Anglo-German name, who is a couple shades darker than President Obama?

Also, why should I be forced to buy domain names I don’t want?

I can only conclude that this company wants to bite on whatever intellectual property I produce and pirate it. Granted, intellectual and Alton Drew may not go hand in hand (just ask my four readers), but does that give China the right to force me to buy domain names or steal my writings?