ARLINGTON, Va. - A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, was signed between the major United States and Chinese air conditioning and refrigeration industry organizations during the 2007 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) held in Dallas.

The exhibition companies of the largest U.S. and Chinese industry trade shows also signed the agreement. The MOU was signed Jan. 29 by Robert Wilkins, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) chairman; Lynn Bellenger, vice president, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); Clay Stevens, president, International Exposition Co.; and representatives from the China Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry Association (ZHAO Rui); representatives from the Chinese Association of Refrigeration (ZHANG Ping); and representatives from the Beijing International Exhibition Centre (CHEN Feng).

“Our shared commitment to manufacturing and selling energy-efficient, environmentally responsible products is dependent upon a relationship of mutual trust and cooperation,” said Wilkins 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.”

For more information, visit

Publication date:02/19/2007