China, U.S. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Groups Sign MOU

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff February 6, 2007

A memorandum of understanding to strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) protection was signed between the major U.S. and Chinese air conditioning and refrigeration industry organizations during the AHR Expo held in Dallas last week. The exhibition companies of the largest U.S. and Chinese industry trade shows also signed the agreement.

The MOU was signed Jan. 29 by Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute Chairman Robert Wilkins; ASHRAE Vice President Lynn Bellenger; International Exposition Company President Clay Stevens; and representatives from the China Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry Association; the Chinese Association of Refrigeration; and the Beijing International Exhibition Centre.

“Our shared commitment to manufacturing and selling energy efficient, environmentally responsible products is dependent upon a relationship of mutual trust and cooperation,” said Wilkins in his remarks during the signing. “For these reasons, the issue of intellectual property rights must be addressed in a serious way.”

Under the agreement, all six organizations agreed that zero tolerance policies for counterfeit products should be enforced and procedures should be established that assist trade show exhibitors who encounter IPR violations. The six parties also agreed to increase communication and collaboration to facilitate the development of education and training programs that build awareness of the protection of intellectual property among all industry segments.

“ARI member companies are eager to work with U.S. and Chinese industry and government officials to ensure protection of intellectual property rights in both our countries,” said Wilkins. “That is why we have agreed to share our strategies for addressing these concerns and work with local officials in a collaborative global effort to bolster these protections.”

ARI is the trade association representing manufacturers of more than 90% of the air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment installed in North America.