Suppose, China copies US-made Humvees and Russian made Sukhois.

Is it possible for USA/Russia to take legal actions against China?

If Yes, how is China continuing its productions?

2 Answers 2


The general rule is the a national government has sovereign immunity from the claims of everyone for any reason, unless that nation's law expressly permits such lawsuit, and even when such lawsuits are allowed, they are only allowed on the terms and conditions of the government being sued when it waives its sovereign immunity in whole or in part.

Beyond the general rule of international law cited above, I do not know how this would be handled in the Russian legal system, but I can speak to what the U.S. legal system would do.

A U.S. court would allow a lawsuit to go forward in its courts if one of two main exceptions apply (there are other exceptions which are controversial and much less common and inapplicable on the facts of this question): (1) there is a breach of contract duly authorized by the national government, or (2) the liability arises from the non-governmental "commercial activities" of a governmental entity owned by the national government but not truly a part of it. If judgment is entered in a U.S. court, it could then be collected from assets of that national government located in the U.S. or under the control of the U.S.

For example, if China was sued for violating a utility patent on the Humvee design and a U.S. federal court found that it was a commercial activity of a state owned company rather than an act of the Chinese military, per se, the U.S. court could enter a judgment against China and the patent owned could collect it by seizing U.S. Treasury bonds owned by China.

A recent example involved a default, I think by Argentina, on some bonds issued to U.S. based lenders that was enforced in U.S. courts.

Of course, the U.S. patent owner could also have his cause taken up by U.S. diplomats who could press his cause, either unilaterally in trade or other negotiations, or before General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or World Trade Organization arbitration panels who could hear the case and decree a remedy that might or might not benefit the individual patent owner.


This generally has nothing to do with the USA/Russia/China as nations.

IP belongs to legal people (including companies) and is infringed by other legal people. It is up to the IP owner if they wish to defend their IP by taking the alleged infringer to court - they would do this in the country where they are, where the infringer is or where the infringement took place.

Copyright violation can be prosecuted as a criminal offense but it rarely is especially when it faces cross-national extradition issues.

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