China manufacturing has become much more popular in recent years, with the China being known as the ‘world’s factory’. However, while China manufacturing offers many benefits, it also comes with its own unique set of challenges, including intellectual property protection issues. For those considering manufacturing in China, here are four things you must know about IP protection in China if you’re manufacturing there to help you avoid potential legal issues down the road.
It’s Different When You Are Not From There
In any country, protecting your intellectual property (IPR) is difficult. It becomes even more complicated when you are dealing with a foreign jurisdiction like China, which has its own set of laws and customs that differ from your own. While no one wants to consider they might ever need to use IP protection methods, they can be an asset if you are faced with problems.
Before you seek legal help or pursue someone for violating your IP rights, remember that many IP cases fail because companies make basic mistakes; before taking action, it pays to know some of them. For example: Remember that you are a foreigner – Chinese laws should protect you against infringement, but don’t assume they will.
Having a backup plan is important because there is always a possibility that law enforcement may not assist you. Keep in mind who owns what – In China, registered trademarks are owned by the registrant rather than being assigned based on where products are sold. Due to this rule, you could lose ownership over your trademark simply by failing to register it properly. In addition to using multiple locations for manufacturing facilities and offices, Chinese businesses tend to utilize multiple forms of IP protection, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
Trademark Registration in China
In order to fully protect your intellectual property (IP) rights, you must apply for trademark protection in China. There are three ways to do so: chinese national or regional trademark offices can be contacted directly, through a representative, an agent, or through a representative of an agent.
Direct registration is cheapest and fastest. If you don’t speak Chinese fluently, you will likely want to use an agent rather than trying to do this on your own. The best agents have years of experience filing trademarks in China and can walk you through the process.
Make sure your trademark is maintained by filing periodic renewal applications before its expiration. If you fail to renew, you risk losing all legal protections conferred by registration-including the right to prevent others from registering a similar mark. It is called trademark squatting when someone registers a trademark similar to yours after yours has expired. This process occurs frequently and is called trademark squatting.
Generally, copyright protection is achieved through registration with CIPA (China Intellectual Property Office). This ensures your work is protected legally.
Following completion of examination and approval procedures, trademarks can be registered with SAIC (State Administration for Industry & Commerce) or SIPO (State Intellectual Property Office). In addition to providing exclusive rights for your trademark, it also allows you to contest its use in court if necessary. If you wish to register a trademark, the most important thing is to make sure it hasn’t been registered by another party first; otherwise, you may face difficulties if you want to register it at a later date.
When it comes to your creations, if you haven’t registered them through patent or copyright registration with qualified departments, you cannot take advantage of their legal protection. For instance, when developing something new, ensure it is registered intellectual property before distributing it to others for commercialization. This will allow you to lay the groundwork for future protection of your rights and interests.
Make sure you include an effective copyright notice on all of your original works. Copyright is defined as a form of personal ownership that protects original works of authorship including literary, architectural and artistic works from being used by others without permission or compensation.
What To Do with An IPR Dispute
You should definitely keep your records – things like your business contracts, licenses, registrations, licenses, licenses, you name it. You don’t want to destroy any records!
Check with a local attorney before signing agreements like these because they often have clauses that should be looked at beforehand. The clauses listed in this section may jeopardize Intellectual Property Rights in China.
When a dispute does arise, you can find a way to solve it by going to the police or foreign courts, among other choices. They are many instances, like going before the entire commission of Beijing Arbitration and seeking help from other departments such as SIPO and the National Copyright Administration.
Alternately, many foreign companies can solve their problems by going to the local technology offices for consultation at any time. One solution you may turn to after you consult with an infringer and find that it refuses to respond to the consultation is to take the infringer to court by yourself or to apply for help from SIPO. The most important thing is to be prepared with IPR protection before bringing the infringement to an end in China.
It’s better to prepare for the worst-case scenario, like if you found a company with a safe production facility and its own IP protection zone. Shield Works is just such a company. Different types of IP protection services are available, such as a partnership with a leading IP industry expert in China. If you want more information, you can always get in touch with us!