It is not surprising that China has developed to become a major manufacturing superpower and more and more overseas companies have moved their production to China. However, some of them are having issues with IP protection while manufacturing in China.
If you are planning to manufacture your products in China, make sure you do everything possible to protect your intellectual property rights. Read on to learn more about the strategies you can use to avoid patent infringement issues in the Chinese market.
What Is IP?
Before you outsource your production to China, it is important to understand what happens to your intellectual property rights (IPR) once you outsource to a Chinese manufacturer.
Intellectual property is a broad term that can include anything from a new fashion trend to a specific software algorithm to an entirely new product design.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) makes a definition of IP as “creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.”
No matter what type of intellectual property you have, there are some things you should know before starting manufacturing in China to ensure your intellectual property rights are protected.
Each Country Has Its IP Laws
Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, you have to consider how you’ll protect your intellectual property.
The first thing you should do is have a basic understanding of Chinese IP laws.
For example, patents for inventions can be protected for up to 20 years in China. Also, China protects utility models (for up to 10 years) and design patents (for up to 15 years). Utility models are sometimes called “mini-patents” and require a lower level of inventiveness. Design patents protect the look of products.
All patent rights in China are subject to the payment of annual fees after they’ve been granted.
The National IPR Organizations You Should Know In China
In China, the government plays a substantial role in promoting and protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs).
Several governmental departments are responsible for IPRs matters. Keep in mind the differences and functions of these organizations.
China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA)
China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) was formerly known as the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). It was renamed in 1980.
The department is responsible for the patent work and comprehensively coordinating the foreign-related affairs in the field of intellectual property throughout the country.
If you want your patent registered in China, make sure you check these common questions that you will need to know:
Trademark Office of China National Intellectual Property Administration
When it comes to handling matters of trademark disputes, you should reach the Trademark Office of the China National Intellectual Property Administration.
It’s responsible for the registration and administration of trademarks throughout the country.
However, the website does not provide an English option, so it would be hard for foreigners to research and apply for a trademark online. Therefore, you can click on the CNIPA website to search for trademark-related information. Or you may go to the local trademark office to make an enquiry in person.
National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China (NCAC)
If you want any copyright information, the National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China website is a good option for you.
It accepts and examines copyrights applications in accordance with the law.
Keep in mind to check the copyright regulations and laws in China before you register your copyright.
IP Protection Agreement
When partnering with a manufacturing company, make sure you have a well-drafted and properly executed manufacturing agreement that will help you protect your IP, and provide you with relief if the manufacturer breaches the agreement.
The IP agreement should list all relevant details, including IP ownership, confidentiality, non-competition and non-circumvention and more.
Let Shield Works Be Your IP Protective Manufacturing Partner
With our British ownership background, we know how to help our overseas clients to protect their IPs without excessive costs and time.
Shield Works partners with Innopat a leading Zhuhai based IP industry expert to provide you with clear no-nonsense advice and IP protection services.
Our IP protective system safeguards your production line in our innovative facility.
We are ready to accommodate your needs. Contact us today.