Established in 2010, Ultravision International has become the leading innovator, manufacturer and distributor of LED displays and LED billboard lighting both in the United States and globally. The company has designed and patented numerous inventions which have changed the LED Digital Display industry, bringing innovative technology at a lower cost for installation and operation. However, Ultravision and other U.S. companies are facing a real threat in the form of intellectual property theft by Asian competitors.
What is AIP?
AIP, or American Intellectual Property, is, as defined by American Intellectual Property Law Association, as the “kind of property that results from the fruits of mental labor”. Protecting AIP makes it possible for inventors to develop ideas and rest assured that their creations are protected, they can receive payment for their innovations, and are incentivized to make their work available for others to continue to develop solutions that benefit all. This has made it possible for the U.S. to become one of the most innovative nations in the world. Failure to protect this hard work has resulted in patent infringement by foreign companies, which means loss of livelihood for American companies, as well as potentially inferior or dangerous products being produced in other countries.
China’s History with IP Laws
In 2001, China joined the WTO, agreeing to modernize its IP laws to an international level with the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights as it transitioned from a manufacturing-based economy to an innovation-based economy. The nation instituted policies intended to strengthen its economy by affording government procurement preference to high-tech products whose intellectual property is owned or registered in China. This, and other policies, have resulted in commercialization of non-Chinese IP by Chinese companies. While more recently China has improved its protection and enforcement of IP, there remains many inadequacies, and many opportunities for these practices to continue unabated. A 2018 report on China’s threats to technology and intellectual property estimates the cost of this theft alone ranges “between $180 billion and $540 billion annually.”
White House Response to AIP Theft
Past and current U.S. administrations have expressed concern for growing threats. Attempts to create agreements with foreign governments, such as agreements to work on structural changes to IP protection, cyber intrusions, and theft, among other issues with China’s president Xi under the Obama and Trump administrations have done little to change practices by many Chinese companies.
Within the past few years, the Trump administration has raised the elimination of China’s theft of American IP to one of the leading foreign policy priorities, if not the main goal of continuing U.S.-China economic negotiations. Recent statements on protecting American IP make it clear that this issue will remain critical to the White House and American companies for years to come.
How does AIP theft affect the consumer?
The theft of intellectual property not only results in a loss of revenue for innovators like Ultravision International, but affects the American consumer with a loss of jobs and direct impacts to the economy. Theft of intellectual property undermines the means and incentive for innovators and inventors, which slows the development of new technologies. Buying from companies who steal AIP is subsidizing foreign suppliers who do not have the burden of developing or licensing their products.
Why is AIP protection so important to Ultravision International?
Ultravision has designed and patented numerous inventions which have been infringed on by many of its foreign-based competitors. Foreign made Modular LED displays that are using this technology, for example, are being sold in the United States and in other countries without regard to patent infringement. The company continues to pursue patent infringement lawsuits against several competitors, including Absen, AOTO, Leyard, Ledman, Liantronics, Prismaflex, Samsung, Unilumin, and Yaham.
The company, and its CEO and Founder, William Hall, take great pride in being a world leading innovator of LED Display and Lighting Products. Products such as their LED displays and LED lighting were designed with consumers and small business owners in mind, to help promote business with innovative displays and help them save money by retrofitting old lighting systems with LED lighting.
Ultravision International continues to create new products and improve upon previous designs, in spite of potential infringement by foreign competitors. Their commitment to LED technology and producing affordable, energy efficient lighting continues to be the company’s vision. They offer lower installation and maintenance costs to businesses, providing tremendous savings to other businesses.
What can you do?
- Stay informed. Set a Google Alert for news on American IP issues and international patent infringement
- Support American companies
- Buy products made in the U.S. – Ultravision’s LED Digital Displays and LED Billboard Lights and Parking Lights are assembled in Texas.
- Encourage lawmakers to introduce law and resources to protect American Intellectual Property.