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IPR Protection: Why Do You Need to be Smart about Your Ideas

Developing an invention that could potentially make you millions can be exciting, but it’s also important to realize the legal responsibilities involved. If you don’t know how to protect your idea, you risk losing it altogether, or at least never realizing its full potential because of an infringement.

Curious about intellectual property rights? Don’t know what an IPR is, or why it matters? It’s time to get yourself up to speed on this essential aspect of business that affects all inventors and entrepreneurs.

In this article, you’ll learn about the basics of IP protection when manufacturing in China, what it can mean for your business, and some ways to protect your ideas in the long run.

What Is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property (IP) is an umbrella term describing the set of intangible assets that are legally protected by a company or person from unpermitted use.

Intellectual property consists of different forms of assets, including trademarks, patents, and copyrights.


A trademark can be a word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these elements that distinguish a specific item from the rest.

For example, the Coca-Cola Company has registered its Coca-Cola® trademark in both standard character format and special form formats.       


A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which could be a design, process, improvement, or physical invention such as a new machine.

For example, the patent for the personal computer was filed in 1980 by Steve Jobs and three other colleagues at Apple Inc.

Typically, there are three types of patents:

  • Design patents
  • Plant patents
  • Utility patents


A copyright is a collection of rights that automatically vest to someone who creates an original work of authorship.

A copyright protects an author’s right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, and perform and display the work publicly.

The most common copyrights include:

  • Literary works
  • Musical works
  • Dramatic works
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • Architectural works

What is IP Infringement & Why Should it Be Avoided?

Intellectual property infringement refers to the act of violating works that are protected by IP laws. This can happen in a manufacturing environment where the manufacturer copies the idea or design without permission from the original owner.

Nowadays, many overseas companies spare no effort to identify and protect intellectual property due to its high value in their businesses.

IP is essential for making sure that your hard work and creativity are credited to you. Having the satisfaction of knowing others use what you create makes it all worthwhile.

Not only does developing high-quality intellectual property take a substantial investment of time and intellect, but also requires an organization or individual to put in hours of work. It would be unfair for another party to access this knowledge without the consent of those who invested so much energy into its creation.

IP infringement can come in many forms, including unauthorized use, copying, reproduction, or distribution of materials protected by Intellectual Property Rights and counterfeiting products intended to mislead consumers.

So, protecting IP and avoiding IP infringement are serious matters.

How to Avoid IP Infringement When Manicuring in China?

Manufacturing products overseas can be challenging. When it comes to working with a manufacturing company in China, you need to take precautions to avoid any type of IP infringement. There are a few tips you can take to protect your invention from legal troubles.

1. IP Registration

IP rights are territorial rights, which are only applicable in the country or region where they are filed and granted by the law of that country or region.

If you manufacture your product in China (or anywhere outside of your home territory), which mentions or reflects your brand, then you must register that trademark locally even if you don’t plan on selling it there.

Registering for trademark protection can save your business from being ripped off and taken away. It protects your intellectual property rights because if you don’t do this somebody else will take advantage of the opportunity and steal your idea or design and produce them under a different name in China.

2. Confidentiality Agreements

The next necessary step is to sign an IP-protected agreement with your manufacturing factory to safeguard your confidential information.

In China, the most used contract is an NNN agreement, which means Non-disclosure, Non-use, and Non-circumvention.

Make sure the contract includes a confidentiality clause that prohibits your supplier from disclosing information about the product and its design or production process.

3. Intellectual Property Insurance

If the defense mentioned above doesn’t work, or you still have a great concern about your IP, then you can carry intellectual property infringement insurance in China.

However, such insurance is not widely used in China and is rarely covered by a standard business insurance policy, so it is not as effective as you think.

4. Work With a Reliable Manufacturing Supplier in China

It is essential that you are diligent and strategic with your intellectual property right protection so that your invention won’t be stolen or copied by someone else, which would prevent you from making money off it.

For this reason, it’s important to establish a strong IPR protection strategy from the beginning. Working with a reliable manufacturing supplier in China can help you protect your product design, production process, and ideas for new improvements or modifications.

If you’re looking for a company that has all your security needs covered, look no further than Shield Works. We are a British-owned and managed company that specializes in the high-quality and competitive rate of contract manufacturing and product assembly services. We follow a rigorous process to safeguard your IP with our 70,000-square-foot facility. Start your journey by reaching out today for more information and see how we will be able to make them worth every penny!