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Posts Tagged ‘Intellectual property’

5 Tips to Make Quality Control More Affordable for Your Business

Quality control can be an expensive aspect of running your own business, but it doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. In fact, following these five tips will help you make quality control more affordable so that you don’t break the bank while keeping your customers satisfied with their experience using your product or service.

1) Use 3rd-party QC Services

It is typical for 3rd-party QC services to charge fees for their services, but their work can also streamline communication between you and your factory. As a result, you’ll still need to conduct regular inspections yourselves throughout each month while your 3rd-party inspector is at your production facility.

You can prevent problems from going undetected until after goods have been shipped to customers by using 3rd-party inspectors regularly during production cycles. Quality control in China can save you thousands of dollars if you make a little extra effort now.

2) Creating Good Relationships with Suppliers

No one’s going to succeed at a China manufacturing operation without strong supplier relationships. It’s as simple as that. When suppliers have on-time, high quality product, meet customers’ requirements, and have some flexibility when needed, you can have confidence in presenting your products in front of customers.

But if a supplier flubs orders, doesn’t pay attention to detail, or other poor quality factors, it will eventually affect your brand. It’s not good. Though the issue of how to obtain the perfect supplier doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer, there are ways to lower the risk and make sure it is within your budget.

Solidify a strong relationship with your supplier to ensure things will run smoothly and that your money is better spent on quality control and less on disaster clean-ups.

3) Be Clear On Your Metrics

One important purpose of having an amicable relationship with your supplier is to ensure smooth communication with your supplier, so you can be precise about your standard of quality. You need a clear understanding of the metrics that are relevant in this process. They are not all universal but there are some standards that are considered common denominators like color, shape, and size consistency.

These qualities need to be consistent across each batch or box coming from the manufacturer because these qualities vary between different batches and boxes based on the manufacturer’s processes and equipment used. And this affects product cost and customer satisfaction; if there is variation in one area then it will lead to other areas being out of whack too!

4) Get Critical Feedback While Your Product Is Being Manufactured

A big mistake many entrepreneurs make when manufacturing a product is assuming that everyone is as invested in its success as they are, when they’re likely to be working with other people to assemble different components. Without meeting directly with vendors or having them to directly collaborate with your team, it can be hard to spot errors, such as low-quality materials or things that don’t match up correctly.

The easiest way to catch these and other errors is by asking vendors for critical feedback from suppliers or manufacturers as soon as possible during production. It’s not possible to be perfect all the time, but communication can minimize problems during the production phase, which saves time and money in the long run. So if you want to get quality control more affordable for your business, it’s essential that you plan ahead of time how to handle mistakes and issues so you can work out any kinks before production starts.

5) Be Involved in Every Step of The Way

Your involvement in the production process not only brings oversight but also enhances your understanding of your product. If you are hands-on, it will be easier to pinpoint where improvements need to be made and find the source of a problem.

You may not be able to come on site but having someone represent you there is a great way to maintain presence. A 3rd-party QC service is a great option in this case.

Invest in a good QC service and treat it like you would your own. You want someone that is not only thorough but also honest. You should expect to spend money on QC, so don’t be cheap when hiring a service provider. Remember, you are looking for a partner, not just an inspector.

Quality control is one of those things that might seem insignificant compared with overall costs and time, but it can make a significant contribution to your bottom line in more than one way. QC services in China are available at Shield Works with our own professional team members with over 17 years of experience! Don’t hesitate to contact us!

5 Questions to Ask Before Working with a Contract Manufacturer in China

As an entrepreneur, when you start working with a contract manufacturer in China, it can be tempting to simply not ask any questions and just trust that your Chinese partner will do everything necessary to manufacture your product correctly, on time and within budget. However, doing so can end up costing you precious time and money if you run into any issues with the product later on down the road or don’t receive what you expected from the manufacturer. That’s why it’s important to ask these 5 key questions every time you work with a new contract manufacturer in China.

1) What materials are available?

Some of the materials that are available for contract manufacturing include metal, plastic, and rubber. These can vary depending on what industry the manufacturer is focused on.

For example, if the manufacturer is focused on metal, they will be able to provide manufacturing services for metals like steel and aluminum. If they have a wider focus on plastics or rubber, then they may be able to manufacture more items that contain these materials.

This is important because it will give you an idea of what your options are for this particular company and how wide their capabilities really are. Knowing which types of materials they work with will also help you decide which type of contract manufacturer might be best suited for your needs. 

If you’re looking for someone who can handle all types of products, then you’ll want to find someone who works with as many different materials as possible. However, if you need someone who specializes in one particular material only (for example, metal), then finding a company that focuses only on metal products might be better.

2) What techniques do they use?

Contract manufacturers use many different techniques. Some of these include injection molding, extrusion, and machining. They may also specialize in one or two of these manufacturing processes. 

For example, if you’re interested in making a product with key metal components, it would be best to work with someone who specializes exclusively in metal injection molding. By doing so, you can ensure the highest quality products and efficient turnaround times. 

In addition, you may want to ask what they can do regarding special coatings and logos. If you have something that requires extreme heat resistance or chemical resistance, it would be best to work with someone who has experience dealing with these types of coatings.

3) Do they have minimum order quantity

One of the first questions you should ask is what their minimum order quantity is. If they don’t have any, then you should probably keep looking and find one that does. This is a red flag for indecent quality.

If they do have a minimum order quantity, then you should find out exactly what that is. If you’re on a budget, this is important because it will give you some flexibility and cost control when it comes to production runs. You’ll be able to experiment with different designs and sizes of products without committing too much money or ending up wasting an excessive amount of product inventory. 

It’s also possible that there are other benefits to having a higher order quantity, such as being eligible for wholesale prices or receiving discounts.

4) How Long Have They Been in Business?

One of the first questions you should ask is how long have they been in business. Ideally, you want a company that’s been around for at least five years and has experience with your industry. If not, it’s worth asking about their team’s experience and what they’ve accomplished over the course of those years.

For instance, a contract manufacturer might have experience working with other brands or companies within your niche. Once you find out how long they’ve been in business and what they’re capable of doing, it’ll be easier to decide if they’re the right partner for you.

It is not only about how long they’ve existed, but also their history of working with an international customer.  If they are able to provide references, then it will make your decision much easier. Their past clients can either confirm or deny whether they will provide excellent service as well as quality products. The relationship between the customers and manufacturers are quite important so this question is worth asking when you meet them in person.

In addition, if possible try to talk to the owners directly and find out more about their background. In order for them to grow successfully and continuously learn new skills, these factors are crucial especially when thinking about potential expansion. Asking these types of questions before hiring a contract manufacturer will help both parties understand what type of expectations each side has from one another from the start!

5) Do they offer in-house design?

If you’re looking for design services, it’s important to find out whether the contract manufacturer can provide them. If they do, there are follow-up questions you might need answers to.

Does the manufacturer have an R&D department? If so, how many people work there? What are their credentials and what are they working on now?

If they don’t have an R&D department or if they only employ a small team, it might be difficult for them to get work done quickly or meet your expectations. In that case, you may want to consider hiring another company for design as well as manufacturing.

Good candidates for China contract manufacturing don’t come by easily. Shield Works is one of them with over 17 years of experience, spread out over the vast array of the industry in the region. Our background is the UK, and our expertise is in China. This combination means we’re knowledgeable in affordable China-made products. We would be happy to help your company be successful, if you’re interested! Contact us today!

5 Things about Outsourced Product Assembly You Can’t Afford To Miss

If you’re looking for ways to save time and money, outsourcing your product assembly could be one way to do that without compromising your overall quality. Here are some things you can’t afford to miss if you’re considering this option. These tips apply whether you’re looking at outsourcing on a small or large scale; the only difference will be in the amount of detail each section of your post needs. With that in mind, here are the five things you can’t afford to miss if you’re planning to outsource product assembly.

First off, What Is Outsourced Product Assembly?

What is outsourced product assembly? How does it differ from in-house assembly?

When a business outsources assembly, it hires a third-party company to make the items it uses or sells in part or in full, depending on the relationship established between the two parties.

Whenever you consider outsourcing your product construction, think about the items that you would like to have made, then find businesses that can build them, and then talk to them about forming a relationship.

It’s important to know exactly what you want a third party to do for you before you begin outsourcing.

It Lowers Your Costs

Doesn’t it make more sense for companies to produce everything themselves rather than outsource it?

The cost of running a business increases when a company creates its own products. It can especially hurt small companies, since they may lack the funds to hire many workers.

Your production costs can be reduced by partnering with another company. When you do this, the other company will provide and employ the workers for you. Thus, you do not need to pay salaries or hire new employees.

Other companies are usually based overseas, such as in China. China’s manufacturing costs are cheaper than in other developed nations, so you will not have to spend as much on your final product. As a result, you are able to cultivate productive and positive business relationships with professionals abroad!

You Can’t Just Work with Any Product Assembly Company

Just as with any business partnership, you want to make sure you find the right manufacturing company for your specific requirements.

Make a list of all the materials and items your product requires. Does the company have them?

Also, ask them if they have worked with any companies similar to yours in the past.

Furthermore, you should pay attention to how friendly and professional the company’s workers are. In order to be productive for as long as possible, you should look for a company with great client service.

If their customer service is not up to par, then it will be difficult for them to get things done efficiently.

In addition, you need to know what type of warranty is offered by the manufacturer so that when problems arise, it can quickly be resolved without too much stress on your end.

Furthermore, price is also important when choosing a product assembly company.

Timeline Is Important

When you first talk to a company, ask them how long it takes them to produce and ship items. This will affect how quickly you can deliver materials to your clients. Therefore, you should find a company that makes high-quality items quickly.

You should discuss what happens when unforeseen circumstances occur. Natural disasters, for example, might cause the company’s ability to deliver your product to you to be interrupted. In times of emergency, you should know what measures the company takes to keep its production running smoothly.

If an urgent situation arises, ask who you should contact. This will give you a person to go to, instead of wasting time looking up who to contact.

The last thing you want is to miss deadlines because of miscommunication. Lastly, make sure that both parties have contingency plans in place in case any problems arise.

Make Sure They Have Everything It Needs to Protect Your IP

Copyright is different depending on which country you are in, so a company should do what it can to ensure that its intellectual property is safeguarded.

That’s why you should research the intellectual property laws of the country in which your products will be made. If they do not protect the rights of other companies, consider making your products elsewhere.

As a bonus, you might also be able to use this to assess the company’s technological competency in keeping your data safe. Do they use leading-edge, state-of-the-art software? Is it comparable to the security you take at your place of business? Do they make regular security checks and upgrades?

A leak of your intellectual property can result in serious, business-damaging losses such as intellectual property piracy and lost data. If you’re trying to keep your company safe, think about the level of security that others have.

When you find a potential supplier that meets these standards, take things a step further. Ask them how they will keep your data and IP safe. Do they have a physical security system? Will they test regularly to make sure everything is working as it should be? If so, then you can work with them more confidently.

Also, you can take precautions on your end. Always have NDAs prepared for your supplier to sign before giving out any sensitive information; register trademarks and patents to prevent copycats and protect your brand; if you source parts or components from multiple suppliers, assemble them at one secure location;

Ready to Outsource Your Product Manufacturing?

In light of this, have you given thought to outsource assembly process?

Outsourcing production may help a company get their goods faster and more cheaply than trying to produce everything on-site. Further, they are freed to focus on innovation and growth of their company.

Here at Shield Works, we manufacture goods. Located in China and British-owned and managed, our goal is to provide clients with high-quality items at affordable prices. If you would like to know more about what we can offer, please get in contact with us!

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.

Trademarks

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.       

Patents

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

Copyrights

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!

Supply Chain Management: The Backbone of Your Business

Supply chain management is the backbone of any company, big or small, that deals in physical goods with substantial production and distribution processes. When you’re starting out your business, supply chain management might seem like an afterthought; you’re more concerned with what goes on inside your company than the goods that come in and out of it. But when you’re ready to scale up, you’ll need a way to manage your goods from their point of origin all the way to where they’re being used—and that’s where supply chain management comes into play.

What Is A Supply Chain?

A supply chain is the network of all suppliers and producers, distributors, warehouses, and end customers involved in producing and delivering a product. Supply chains are found in a variety of industries including automobile manufacturing.

A consumer goods business’s supply chain can be broken down into four main categories: supplier development and management; distribution; operations management; and customer service. These four components work together to ensure that goods are delivered to customers on time while maintaining a high level quality.

Suppliers need to be monitored for quantity, delivery times, and any changes in price or availability. Distribution requires coordination with carriers and transportation services for getting products from point A to point B without any delays or damage. Operations must handle such things as plant floor layout, storage equipment design, assembly line design, production scheduling strategies and inventory levels. Customer service involves managing customer expectations with respect to pricing/costs, lead times and order fulfilment.

An effective supply chain is crucial because it ensures your company has continuous supplies which allows you to stay competitive by meeting your customers’ needs at a low cost while still ensuring profit margins remain healthy enough for long-term success.

Benefits Of Having A Good Supply Chain In Place

A good supply chain will ensure the availability of your products and services to buyers. Having a reliable supply chain in place means you can trust that what is promised is delivered, without worries about product shortages or delivery delays. It also means you can focus on other aspects of your business, such as marketing and customer service, knowing that your supply chain is running smoothly. Good inventory management also saves you money by reducing the amount of time spent managing inventories; it eliminates waste by reducing excess production; and it prevents overbuying or underbuying by estimating demand more accurately.

It also allows you to offer same-day shipping or delivery services, which can greatly improve your customer experience while enhancing your brand image in shoppers’ eyes.  Finally, having control of every step of the process from production to distribution gives you peace of mind because you know where your products are at all times.

Problems With A Poorly Planned And Managed Supply Chain

A poorly planned and managed supply chain can lead to a variety of problems. For example, if your supplies are delivered late or in the wrong quantities, it will be difficult for you to keep up with demand and meet customer expectations. This could cause your customers to look elsewhere for products, meaning you’ll lose money. Similarly, if something goes wrong with a shipment – say you ordered 2,000 units but only received 1,500 – then you won’t have enough product on hand to fulfill orders and may have to cancel some orders altogether. This can damage your reputation as well as cause delays in production that hurt your bottom line.

In addition, a poorly planned and managed supply chain can lead to even financial problems. If your supplier ships you faulty products – say they accidentally send you 2,000 units that don’t work properly – then it may be difficult for you to get a refund or replacements. This could force you to halt production as your staff tries to identify and replace all of these faulty units and seek compensation for losses. Worse still, if there’s an issue with your suppliers’ products that leads to serious injuries or health complications for customers, then it may be difficult for you to find a lawyer who will take up your case due to consumer protections laws in many countries. And it’ll be detrimental to your cash flow.

How Can You Effectively Manage An Effective Supply Chain?

There are many factors to consider when it comes to supply chain management, but the most important is having a plan. You should start by writing down all the points that are essential to your business and then create a list of what you need for each point. You can also make use of a system that will help you manage your inventory and keep track of where things are in the process. When it comes to order fulfillment, be sure that you have enough space in your warehouse or storage area to account for the time it will take for customers’ orders to arrive. If you’re not sure how much space you’ll need, speak with a professional who deals with these matters on a daily basis.

Or you can hire a professional supply chain management company.  They will work closely with you to establish goals for your organization’s future manufacturing plans as well as strategies that address potential problems like an increase in problems or changes in technology. They also provide recommendations and support for establishing a sustainable supply chain strategy. With their guidance, there’s no doubt about it: You’ll be able to continue running an effective supply chain without wasting money, resources, or time.

Shield Works Can Take Care of It All

Shield Works has over 17 years of experience in managing supply chain, all the way from manufacturing to delivery.  We can help you achieve your goals and objectives while saving time and money. For a free consultation on how we can help your business, call today!

7 Benefits of Working with China Manufacturers You Must Know

Deciding whether to outsource your manufacturing to China can be an overwhelming process, but there are many reasons to choose China as your manufacturing hub. Here are five of the most important benefits you should consider before making a decision.

Lower Costs Than Western Counterparts

One of the primary benefits of outsourcing your manufacturing to China is the lower labor costs.

Besides having fewer overhead costs, Chinese facilities also have lower training costs. In order to cover these costs, domestic manufacturing facilities must set aside a significant amount of money.

Businesses of all types outsource instead, as wages in China are also lower than in the United States.

When you outsource, you can spend less per dollar, so you can reap the benefits that can come from using Chinese product assembly. Keep this in mind when you are considering moving forward.

Larger Production Volume

A business does not necessarily need to manufacture thousands of products in one order. However, in some cases, large organizations often have a hard time locating a domestic facility that can meet their bigger-than-normal needs.

This means that China has typically built facilities that are able to produce large volumes of goods for many different countries. Even an average Chinese factory can outperform the vast majority of western facilities.

When it comes to companies that require a massive supply of their product, there is no better alternative than outsourcing to China. In many cases, it is also the only way to meet your goals.

Diversified Production

To long-term success, scaling your business may be needed.

This can happen in a variety of ways. For example, you might add a new product line to generate additional revenue.

One option would be to find growth opportunities in one of China’s developing markets. That way, you can use them to establish a niche in your business. Designing new products is one of the key ways in which they help.

Choosing a Chinese OEM plant, in some cases, might give you an edge over your competition.

Flexibility of Product Design

Domestic facilities usually cannot adjust their design at your behest because it could take them days or weeks to actually put them into practice.

You may have to change the way you do business to sell a more desirable product if you don’t have high enough sales numbers. Adding to this, delayed orders because of design changes also carry the risk of your customers turning to competitors.

It is our understanding that Chinese manufacturers are ready to implement any changes required of them. As for you, all you need to do is contact the representatives from your company and describe the alterations that you need.

The manufacturer will typically make revised products as soon as possible after you inform them of your change, which is an important consideration as it will affect your brand’s reputation.

IP Protection

Many people are unaware that many Chinese factories prioritize intellectual property protection.

This means they make sure you don’t end up in legal trouble by avoiding any form of infringement. To illustrate, suppose you sell a product that is extremely similar to that of your competitor.

As with any other manufacturing industry, there are shady facilities that engage in such tactics. A reputable factory in China will make sure that there is no copying or reverse engineering going on.

It is good news that you can research the reputation of your prospective factory before choosing to work with them. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation that is difficult to remedy.

Efficiency

China’s factories are capable of mass production, and it is a simple matter for them to do so with remarkable speed.

These new and efficient facilities can meet any production standard. This will allow smaller organizations to compete with larger ones.

Many small businesses can’t keep up with the production rates of large corporations. Without the help of the right manufacturers, these businesses will never be competitive.

Tips of Finding The Factory Right for You?

It can be difficult to find a reliable Chinese manufacturer for all sorts of reasons, like time zone challenges and language barriers. With the help of a professional, you will be able to get a firm grasp on which factory is best for your company.

You’ll find that they are a go-between who has contacts at the other party’s end. That way, they’ll be able to work out the finer points and make agreements without you even needing to intervene.

You can take a look at this resource to find out how you can use this to your advantage.

We Are You Go-To Option

With the above information in mind, you can be sure that you are deciding the right course of action for your company.

From here, you’ll be able to employ Chinese manufacturing for appropriate businesses. Want to learn more about Shield Works with 17 years of China manufacturing experience? Please get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

4 Things You Must Know about IP Protection in China If You’re Manufacturing There

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.

Brand Protection

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!

Protect Your IP When Manufacturing in China: Don’t Let Your Ideas Fall Into the Wrong Hands

Information is becoming accessible due to the easy distribution methods available, which makes safeguarding your intellectual property when manufacturing in China a challenge.

No matter what stage of business you’re in, protecting yourself from those who would steal your ideas should be the top priority for any entrepreneur out there.

So, let’s take a closer look at this hot-button issue and how we can learn to cope with it.

1. US IP Law Does Not Guarantee IP Protection In China

The United States has some of the strongest intellectual property rights (IPR) laws in the world. However, these laws do not guarantee IP protection in China.

You might have your trademarks, patents, and copyrights registered in the US, but this would provide you with no protection in China if there are any IP issues happen.

So you have to be proactive about protecting yourself.

Try to address your IPR with your contract manufacturing partner in China at the very outset – for too many Western companies it wasn’t until they suffered consequences later that they realized their mistake.

2. Conduct Background Checks

The first step is to conduct a background check on the company and individuals you’re looking to partner with.

This will help you get a sense of their business practices and whether or not they’re reputable.

You can look it up online by yourself or ask for references from others who have used the contract manufacturing services in China.

There are many IP theft stories online that people share about their experiences working with Chinese manufacturers, which could serve as a warning to you.

It’s important to understand that IP protection can vary significantly depending on where the manufacturer is located and what type of industry they work in, so don’t rely solely on one method to safeguard your intellectual property (IP).

3. Create A Confidential File

Before finalizing a manufacturing supplier, you have to create a list of confidential files with product details like drawings, descriptions, production plans, and prototype update records.

When you need to discuss the manufacturing process with your chosen contract manufacturer in China, avoid sending your original product drawings or product descriptions.

This is one of the easiest ways for someone in the manufacturing company to steal your intellectual property (IPR).

If you absolutely must, send digital copies that can’t be easily reproduced. You can also consider watermarking them or sending them as password-protected files.

Also, make sure you have added dates wherever possible because the first date of use is critical in IP matters.

4. Create Confidentiality Agreements

The next best thing would be to have a written IPR agreement with your manufacturing factory and any other partner companies involved in the process so that all parties are aware of how you want it handled from start to finish.

You have to sign an NNN agreement with your supplier, which means Non-disclosure, Non-use, and Non-circumvention. It is a legally binding contract between two parties in which one party agrees to protect the IP rights in China.

By having your partner sign NNNs, you can help protect your company’s confidential information.

Furthermore, make sure to review and inspect any agreements made with local manufacturers before signing. If you do have a dispute, they may only address it in the Chinese version of the document which could give them an unfair advantage over you.

5. Engage with the Chinese IP Regime

There is no such thing as international protection for your intellectual property.

If you think highly of your IP, make sure to protect it thoroughly. You need to get it protected in China by filing your patents, trademarks, and copyrights with local authorities such as:

  • China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA)
  • Trademark Office of China National Intellectual Property Administration
  • National Copyright Administration of the People’s Republic of China (NCAC)
  • Ministry of Commerce, People’s Republic of China

Remember to research the relevant IP regulations in China because they may differ significantly from your home country. Also, remember to have everything properly translated into Chinese because only these translated versions will be held as valid.

Are You Looking For A Contract Manufacturer In China You Can Trust?

Registering your intellectual property in China and the United States does not always guarantee its protection. One thing to remember is that enforcement of these laws can be unpredictable or time-consuming.

Ultimately, it all depends on who you’re working with and the kind of relationship you’ve established, which means careful consideration needs to go into choosing a Chinese contract manufacturer if they’ll work intimately with your company over an extended period.

Once you’ve selected one, it’s imperative that both parties set up clear processes for protecting your intellectual property at every stage of production or else risk losing it entirely.

Now, if you are looking for a reliable and professional contracting manufacturer in China, try to work with us Shield Works.

Over time, we have developed a list of IP protective methods at our custom manufacturing and precision assembly facility that has proven 100% effective at preventing IP infringements.

  • We have state-of-the-art fingerprint access secure production zones to protect your interests and provide full IP protection at the source of manufacture.
  • We have legally binding NDAs with every external body that we may work with during the process of your assembly line to ensure this is protected.
  • We partner with Innopat, a leading Zhuhai-based IP industry expert to provide our clients with clear, no-nonsense advice and IP protection services.

Shield Works is a British-owned and managed contract manufacturing company in the South China Greater Bay Area, providing complete custom manufacturing and precision assembly services for western companies who are fed up with poor product quality, lack of transparency, and are worried about the reliability and delivery time from their Chinese suppliers.

We attribute our success to the dedication and expertise of our engineering team who is highly qualified and experienced.  With over 15,000 projects completed, we’ll provide you with tailored advice, based on your situation. Tell us about your project and get a quote!

NNN Agreement: How To Protect Your Intellectual Property In China?

There are a lot of things you can do to proactively protect your intellectual property (IP) when you are outsourcing production into China.

The Chinese NNN agreement may be one of the most important parts of the overall picture.

If you want to hear about NNN agreements, you are in the right place.

In this article, you will learn what’s involved in an NNN agreement, why you need it, and how it can help your business succeed in China.

What is an NNN Agreement?

So, first thing first. You may want to know the definition of an NNN agreement especially if you are new to Chinese manufacturing.

NNN stands for non-disclosure, non-use, and non-circumvention. The three Ns include:

  • Non-Disclosure: Don’t tell anyone

It means that the counterparty can’t disclose any confidential information you provide.

  • Non-Use: Don’t use the information

This means that the counterparty can’t use your IP for any purposes other than for your benefit under the contract.

  • Non-Circumvention: Don’t go around your back

It means your manufacturing contractor can’t circumvent you and sell to your customers directly, usually at a lower price.

An NNN Agreement is a type of confidentiality agreement used in business dealings with Chinese companies, particularly Chinese manufacturers.

An effective NNN agreement can be used to protect your confidentiality such as product details, drawings, marketing strategies, etc. when working with manufacturers directly in China.

It’s a Chinese equivalent to the western world’s Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

Difference between An NDA Agreement and An NNN Agreement

A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) focuses on protecting trade secrets in the US. while an NNN can be used to safeguard IP in China.

To be considered protectable property, a trade secret must stay a secret. As such, NDAs are typically aimed at preventing the disclosure of trade secrets to members of the public.

Therefore, an NDA agreement focuses narrowly on confidential information from being revealed to the public.

Typically, an NDA agreement is written in English, subject to U.S. law, and exclusively enforceable in a U.S. city and state.

The Advantages of a Chinese NNN Agreement

Whether you work with an existing Chinese manufacturer or looking for a new one, building and signing a legitimate contract will guarantee the safety of your company’s confidential information.

Here are some good reasons why you should sign up for an NNN agreement.

1. Protect Sensitive Information

The primary advantage of an NNN is that sensitive information about your company remains secure.

This could involve anything like proprietary data, patents, finances, negotiation terms—anything confidential.

Signing an NNN agreement is a method to protect private details from coming out publicly or being used by the manufacturer and their staff members.

2. Build Trust

Having confidentiality when writing and signing agreements between your company and your chosen manufacturing supplier lends trust to these types of negotiations, thereby deterring the possible theft of intellectual property.

You can also use this agreement to detail your expectations for the Chinese manufacturing process, including specifications for quality control and product safety.

3. Avoid Unapproved Subcontracting

Some overseas companies that outsource production to China discover that their manufacturing suppliers rely in turn on layers of subcontractors, without the buyer’s knowledge or approval.

With this contract in place, you can reduce or even eliminate the problems caused by unethical manufacturing suppliers who could steal your IP and pass it to their subcontractors.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Protect Your Intellectual Property in China

Keep a Close Eye on Your Manufacturer

Before working with a manufacturing company in China, it’s always a good idea to do due diligence. You should understand the tier of different suppliers and the transparency of every production stage.

When working with a reputable supplier, you still need to keep a close eye on their company updates by continuous monitoring.

 

Filing your IP Rights In China

Though you have your IPR registered in your country, you may not be protected by any foreign law or foreign judgments in China. Instead, the Chinese law and the Chinese court protect your right. 

For overseas businesses engaging in import-export, they are suggested to file their IP information and register for trademark protection with relative authorities in China.

Sing An NNN Agreement

When partnering with a manufacturing company, make sure you have a well-drafted and properly executed NNN agreement that will help you protect your IP, and provide you with relief if the manufacturer breaches the agreement.

Choose A Reliable Manufacturing Partner

Finding a reliable manufacturer in China can be daunting and time-consuming. Shield Works can be your local manufacturing partner to safeguard your IP and meet your production expectations.

As a British-owned and managed company, Shield Works is committed to protecting every aspect of your IP without excessive costs and time.

Shield Works partners with Innopat, a leading Zhuhai-based IP industry expert, to provide you with clear IP protective manufacturing services in China. In addition, Innopat is a professional patent and trademark agency authorized by the National Intellectual Property Administration of the People’s Republic of China.

We also have our IP Protection flagship facility to conduct activities from manufacturing, and product assembly to quality inspection and warehousing.

In this case, you no longer have to worry about the risk of copy-cat manufacturing. Contact us to diss your project today!

IP Protection in China: 7 Steps to Take to Protect Your Intellectual Property

You’ve come up with a great idea for a product or a service, and you’re sure it’ll make a big splash in the market. You spend a lot of time developing it and are ready to unveil it only to discover that someone has beaten you to the punch. Unless you’ve invested in some kind of IP protection, there isn’t much you can do in response.

IP protection in China takes many forms, such as patenting or trademarking your property. The main reason to do so is to prevent other people from using your branding or claiming your product as their own. 

Here are seven steps you can take to protect intellectual property in China and prevent idea theft.

1. Assess Risks vs Benefits

The very first step is to understand IP laws in China and assess your overall risk. For example, the Copyright Law of China considers the publication of a copyright owner’s work without permission as infringement. Authorities may impose fines and confiscate any illegal income as a result.

If you intend to do business in China, only transfer over IPs that are absolutely required. Retain newer designs and prototypes in your origin country to minimize the risk of theft. 

Hire a qualified IP lawyer to review the terms and conditions of anything you license. Try to negotiate favorable royalty rates and retain ownership of any improvements made in the country. 

2. Register Your IP in China

There is no such thing as an international copyright option for your intellectual property. If you’ve invested in copyright inside the United States, then it’s only good inside the United States. As such, those looking to move their IPs into China will need to register them there. 

Without a trademark in China, there is little your company can do to prevent counterfeiting. Luckily, there is such thing as an international trademark you can apply for. However, a particular country will have to agree to register it after you apply through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

Keep in mind that trademarks must be used exactly in the way that you registered them. That means using the same logo and text as it was registered. 

3. Use a Contract Manufacturer

Utilizing product assembly in China can reduce costs, improve your time to market, and increase overall customer satisfaction. However, you have to be careful who you choose to do your manufacturing. 

A contract manufacturer doesn’t do the design of your products. They get the design files, validate them, and do the manufacturing. There’s little risk of them taking your ideas and running with them. 

Meanwhile, a manufacturer who is in the same business as your company should be considered a competitor and treated as such. Don’t give them anything they can use for their own profit. 

4. Sign an NDA

An additional measure you can take when dealing with a manufacturer is to have them sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). An NDA is a binding contract that prevents the sharing of certain information with other parties. It also helps to distinguish what can be shared so the manufacturer can work more freely within the set boundaries. 

Since an NDA is a civil contract, it doesn’t violate the law as with copyright and trademark violations. However, it does open up the other party to lawsuits from their employer and risks financial damage. As such, an NDA is an important method of intellectual property protection. 

5. Identify and Categorize Your IP Assets

Moving your business into China doesn’t mean you need to register every single one of your intellectual properties. If you’re not using them, then it’ll only be a waste of time and money.

Identify your IP assets and categorize them according to the level of risk and value. Provide sufficient protection within your company and task your management team with protecting your company’s IP. Limit employee access to those who absolutely need it. 

Two of the most important assets to protect are your designs and any trade secrets. If your product has a unique visual appearance, you can register the design. Trade secrets are protected throughout the use of NDAs or other written agreements. 

6. Engage in Business Carefully

Even if you’ve obtained copyright, trademarked your product, and had your manufacturer sign an NDA, you still need to tread carefully. All suppliers, vendors, distributors, and so on are potential competitors. 

It may be more convenient to have all your processes done under the same roof, but it also means giving them more power over your end product. 

Design your manufacturing process to protect your IP. For example, you can manufacture all the different components at separate OEMs and assemble them back home at a trusted facility. 

If you have a facility in China, do not allow visitors to record or document anything they see or hear. 

7. Monitor for Infringement

There’s no point in having IP protection in China if you don’t keep an eye out for instances of infringement. Monitoring an IP overseas can prove challenging, especially if your company operates from the United States. 

One way to monitor for trademark infringement is with an online search. Not only should you keep an eye out for anything similar to your trademark, but you can also find anything that may be confused for it. Google allows you to search for similar images, as well. 

While you’re there, set up a Google alert for your trademark. Once done, you’ll get email notification reports whenever a new search result pops up using your trademark. 

IP Protection in China Made Simple

Protecting your company’s intellectual properties is an important part of running a business in any country. IP protection in China is no different. Even if you’re only manufacturing certain products overseas, IP theft can cost your company a significant amount of time and money. 

If you need a manufacturing company you can trust in the area, look no further. Shield Works is British-owned and managed in the heart of Zhuhai city. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help your business.