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Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization Hardcover – April 26, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Everything from knockoff handbags to counterfeit pharmaceuticals counts as intellectual property piracy for Choate (The High-Flex Society), the economic commentator who was Ross Perot's 1996 running mate. Citing at least $200 billion in annual losses to the U.S. economy, Choate identifies IP piracy as a grave threat, but finds the government doing almost nothing to stop it. In fact, he says, the White House all too frequently turns a blind eye to copyright and patent violations in other countries in exchange for other policy considerations. Following up on the well-regarded Agents of Influence: How Japan Manipulates America's Political and Economic System (1990), Choate, in an aggressive analysis, identifies Japan, China and others as regularly stealing from American industry to boost their economies. He hits equally hard against American corporations that risk stifling innovation by lobbying for laws that minimize the benefits of patent protection for individual inventors. With a flair for the illuminating anecdote, Choate links the historical success of entrepreneurial innovators with America's rise to economic power, bringing in everyone from Noah Webster to the FDA, RCA, IG Farben, Dow and Hollywood. That, combined with a writerly passion, raises this well above the level of dry policy jeremiad. Even those who don't consider themselves "petty thieves" for illegally downloading songs off the Internet will be brought up short by Choate's careful delineation of the economic and social consequences of IP piracy on an international scale.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Choate surveys the history of intellectual property laws in the U.S. as rooted in our Constitution, reflecting the original commitment to protect inventors for the good of our nation's growth. From this early insight, the U.S. reaped benefits as the nation grew from an agricultural economy to the world's largest industrial and technological economy. But the U.S., along with other nations, has undercut protection of intellectual property rights with lax enforcement. Choate points to the growth of the U.S. textile industry, aided by industrial espionage and theft, and the fact that today Japan, Germany, and China are using similar tactics to compete against the U.S. The U.S. is suffering huge economic losses as a result of illegal copying of everything from American films to music to books. Choate argues that while our nation's disinterest in enforcing our intellectual protective laws are often rooted in geopolitical considerations, we pay a hefty price in our economy and job security. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition Stated edition (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375402128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375402128
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.4 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,133,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas L. Thomson on June 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I treasure Dr. Pat Choates new title (book). It is an easy read and a total epiphany. I thought I totally knew the negative side of so-called free trade and after perusing HOT PROPERTY I realized I knew little. Dr. Choate not only pinned down the significance of intellectual property (new ideas product-wise and the intangible, such as music, books, trademarks, software, methods, processes, and so forth) that stimulates our economy, but also makes clear how Japan in particular has bought off disloyal former D.C. government agents of all descriptions(Congressional staff, legislators, etc.)who have helped Japanese cartels steal the ideas as their own possession.

A recent e-mailed question from me to Dr. Choate regarding China's emerging roll as an economic power vis-a-vis Japan's theft of our (US) intellectual property produced the following reply from Professor Choate:

"The Japanese hold on the US economy by stealing our intellectual property is tighter now than ever. They now hold almost $1 trillion in federal securities, have a massive trade surplus with us -- far more than the $70 billion or so reported, because much of the China, Thailand, Mexico, etc., trade surpluses are from Japanese companies in those countries. Plus, the Japanese continue to hire our ex-officials on a wholesale basis. The Japanese are so involved with us it is as though they were co-directors of our government."

Read HOT PROPERTY and discover for yourself the wholesale theft of America's intellectual property that is all but destroying America's economic prowess and motivation to create new ideas that lead to innovation and economic stimulation.
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Format: Hardcover
As an attorney who practices intellectual property law, I read a lot of trade books that involve this issue. Considering the wide spectrum of views on intellectual property rights, it is no surprise that the category as a whole encompasses very different positions on how much protection intellectual property deserves and how best to protect it. The two major strengths of this book are its well articulated viewpoints and the strong writing. I was more than pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the book was not going to be a dry academic tome but instead incorporates about 200 years of the history of global intellectual property theft and enforcement that helps you place the issues in context with real-world events. The book mostly covers patent issues and presents cause for concern about the risk of the United States shifting into decline as it loses both the fruits of its inventiveness and the intellectual capital to sustain it. The only part I did not like was the last twenty to thirty pages which takes an anti-copyright view that favors restricted rights and enhanced bureaucratic formalities to maintain them. Irrespective of whether you agree with the author, this is an important book and one of the better written ones on the subject.
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Format: Hardcover
Choate has taken Intellectual Property, what normally would be a mundane subject, and elevated it to a riveting saga of the our history and evolution of this body of law. In and extremely balanced fashion, he deals with abuses we incurred to the intellectual property of others as well as violations of the rights of US entrepreneurs and inventors. Choate provides example after example of how our laws were developed as well as how numerous prolific individuals like Whitney, Bell, Edison both benefited and suffered in the intellectual property game. He also documents that tactics and strategies employed first by corporations and recently by nations to inappropriately capture, control, and exploit the innovation, creativity and intellectual resources of others.

It is a fascinating work filled with new and startling information that I found my self unable to put down. It is easy and enjoyable to read. It is must reading for every corportate executive responsible for the intellectual property of his/her company and it is must reading for every law maker across the nation!!
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Format: Hardcover
Hot Property: The Stealing Of Ideas In An Age Of Globalization is especially recommended for its ethical, moral and wide-ranging social issues application. The problem of pirating and counterfeiting has been magnified with online availability making it a cinch to steal artistic and scientific creations: a habit which is draining our core economy, maintains author Pat Choate. Hot Property provides both a history of intellectual property conflicts and copyright, and a link between copyright issues and a healthy American economy.
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Format: Hardcover
As an IP lawyer, I have a great type of interest in this field. I read a lot of books on this topic, and review them as well. This is one of the worst I have ever read.

I concede that Choate can spin a good tale, but the facts of the matter are that he knows nothing about this field, and it shows. By page four of the introduction, he is trying to scare people about the significance of fake or counterfeit goods by demonstrating actual cases of companies with substandard aircraft parts. The problem?

None of the cases cited involved faked parts, or intellectual property piracy. Make me scared to fly, sure, but even on Choate's own description, these were just American companies making their own substandard goods and shipping them off. It just gets worse from there.

There is all kinds of pro_America assertions, but little back up. In fact, next to no context even. Choate, for example, rants at the Germans for enforcing their patent rights to an anti malarial drug during WWII, at the expense of American soliders. The fact that we were in the middle of a vicious war with Germany at the time seems rather relevant to context and yet is never mentioned. And the fact that the USA then appropriated all of Germany's patents at the end of the war is seen as totally justified.

Later, Choate refers to patent examiners listening to H. Ross Perot speak at a conference as a "dedicated and patriotic act." No mention is made of how Choate was at that time Perot's VP candidate. Or that patent examiners listening to a non_patent trained person, or even legal or scientific trained person was probably a complete waste of their time and the government's money.

As a reviewer, I used every trick to get to the end of this book.
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