U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

Baldwin, Grothman, Fitzgerald Push for Investigation into Chinese Firm that Stole Intellectual Property from Wisconsin Company


By - Sep 29th, 2022 09:14 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representatives Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06) and Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI-05) sent a series of letters to federal agencies calling for an investigation into the harmful trade practices of a Chinese multinational company that stole intellectual property from the Wisconsin-based company Raffel Systems. The letters, sent to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), come after the Wisconsin manufacturer, Raffel Systems, had their intellectual property stolen by a former customer, the Chinese furniture manufacturer Man Wah, who manufactured faulty knockoff products based on the Raffel model. The knockoff products’ failures caused reputational damage to Raffel and subsequently, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin awarded the company $100 million in damages. Now, the Congressional members are calling for a series of investigations to help prevent the type of theft from happening again.

“This example of a multinational corporation deploying a calculated and duplicitous assault against a Wisconsin small business highlights the significant challenges that American businesses face from intellectual property theft by bad-faith actors, specifically from China,” the members of Congress wrote in one of the letters.

“No American worker should ever have their hard-earned paychecks jeopardized by these kinds of abusive trade practices, and your agency initiating an investigation could prevent Man Wah from continuing its practice of stealing intellectual property from other small businesses across Wisconsin and the country,” the Wisconsin members continued.

“We are grateful that Senator Baldwin, Representative Fitzgerald and Representative Grothman recognize the importance of protecting intellectual property and for working to hold Man Wah accountable for its unfair, anti-competitive behavior,” said Raffel Systems Executive Chairman Paul Stangl. “We hope the federal agencies will investigate this matter and put a stop to Man Wah’s disregard for proprietary technology.”

Text of the letter to the CPSC is available here.

Text of the letter to the ITC is available here.

Text of the letter to the FTC is available here.

An online version of this release is available here.

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One thought on “Baldwin, Grothman, Fitzgerald Push for Investigation into Chinese Firm that Stole Intellectual Property from Wisconsin Company”

  1. Duane says:

    Speaking directly to this issue of China and US manufacturing, testifying before the Senate Banking Committee Senator Bob Casey, Jr. said, “In the United States, manufacturing represents about 11 percent of GDP, but is responsible for 70 percent of R&D [Research and Development], according to analysis from the consulting firm McKinsey. Manufacturing drives innovation. When you lose manufacturing, you lose innovation. Countries that don’t make things don’t endure.

    A quote from GOP Senator John Cornyn, “There’s an old saying attributed to Vladimir Lenin. ‘The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.’ That’s exactly what China is trying to do – use the enterprising minds of America to choke our economy. The challenge we face with regards to China in particular requires a shift in our way of thinking – a new paradigm. The focus on proxy wars and diplomacy are a relic of the past. We need real action.”

    Today Thom Hartmann is talking about the Buy American Act, passed in 1933 by President Hoover, and how we need to start following it again. Would be nice but most US companies would balk at this notion. Easiest answer to most manufacturing problems is to have China do it for you. And corporate money (via legalized bribery, thank you SCOTUS) rules our political process and our politicians. Changing our current economic system is the stickiest of all the sticky wickets. Lots of talk but very little action.

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