"“Tech transfer commercialization,” explained Phillips, is a term describing foreign acquisition of IP — either via theft or procurement — originally owned or held by American individuals or businesses. “It’s $600 billion to a trillion dollars a year we’re losing as a country,” said Philips of America’s IP losses. “The companies that are suffering the most are not these huge companies that have incredible firewalls and [security] systems, but they’re the ones that create 90 percent of jobs in America: small companies. And these companies don’t necessarily have the funds to create these triple-firewalls and things like that to stop all this IP from being taken.”
Technological innovations developed by universities and associated research laboratories are also being targeted by China and other foreign states for IP theft, Phillips said, and continued, “America innovates. China steals manufacturers and monetizes, and you’re not seeing the manufacturing in the United States. We’ve lost over 150,000 manufacturers just in the last few years.”
China also steals technology not yet patented by American developers, Phillips added. “China is going to patent your technology, America’s technology, the taxpayer’s technology, before we even get a chance to do that. So we’re losing all this through both theft and cyberwarfare, and through our tech transfer commercialization systems which are … very weak.”
“You think you’ve got an American investor or a VC … and the next thing you know, you’ve got a Russian on your board or perhaps a proxy from China or wherever,” Phillips warned. “If they can’t steal it, they try to invade, and they try to invade through these manufacturers. I’ve seen it first-hand. There are a lot of ways — Jason Bourne-type ways — where they get into these manufacturers — our best manufacturers.”
The government “must do more” to stop foreign acquisition of U.S.-based IP, advised Phillips, highlighting the role of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in protecting America’s national interest in this dimension."
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