The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute will work with China’s air-conditioning and refrigeration industry to strengthen intellectual property rights.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between ARI and China’s major air conditioning and refrigeration organizations during the AHR Expo Jan. 29 in Dallas.

The agreement was signed by ARI Chairman Robert Wilkins; American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Vice President Lynn Bellenger; International Exposition Co. 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 intellectual property rights 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.”