Over the years, China has gained a dubious reputation for IP theft. Not only have products been blatantly copied by competitors, but it has also not been uncommon for a foreign company’s trusted partner to suddenly emerge as its main competitor.
Foreign companies can limit the risk to their IP in several ways, starting with the careful selection of prospective partners. In addition, legally binding safeguards and non-compete clauses for a partner’s employees and executives can be crafted.
Since entering the WTO, China has strengthened its IP rules, and there are now better mechanisms in place to enforce IP rights. In addition, foreign companies that are producing finished products or components in China in cooperation with one or more Chinese manufacturers can adopt certain strategies to ensure that no single Chinese company is ever equipped to replicate the final product.
As in most countries, IPR protection in China begins with local registrations. As China is a “first to register” country, having your key IP rights properly registered early on – even before you enter the market – is an important component of your protection strategy. Foreign companies and individuals need to have an IP agent help them navigate all the steps of the registration process according to the relevant IP laws. IP registration includes patents, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, domain names, business names and IP protection includes trade secrets, know how and anti-counterfeiting. We offer this general background on IP Registration in China.
We welcome you to read more about IPO Pang’s assistance with intellectual property issues and counterfeits in China, and to contact IPO Pang to discuss how we may be of service to you.