Monday, January 01, 2007

Our Dirty Secrets

Green Supplyline has an interesting article on the concerns on how environmental legislation may reveal secrets that are protected under intellectual property rights. Of particular concern is China, as their "RoHS-like" regulations will require that electronic devices undergo testing at a Chinese lab, and many vendors think that these state-owned labs will reverse engineer their trade secrets.

Fakery is endemic in China; one could argue it's even part of the culture. It probably goes without saying that, in this environment, secrets don't get no respect, even when the secret can be damaging to life and limb (want some soy sauce made out of hair?) On the flip side, isn't that the point of testing, that the vendors are slipping bad materials into their products? Isn't that why there is legislation at all? Clearly, with all the legerdemain surrounding the existing RoHS exemptions right now, it seems like this one is going to be a real battle. Mano-a-mano, I think China is going to get their way; they can just tell the vendors sell their wares elsewheres.

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