Own-it | Intellectual Property Know-How for Creative Businesses

Protecting your IP in China

Protecting your IP in China

Published: 26.10.11 at 15:30

With all the stories of fake Apple stores and problems with counterfeit goods you could be forgiven from concluding that perhaps China doesn't have a particularly robust IP protection scheme.

However, the situation is a lot better than it was say, 10 years ago. Plus, with the country's rapidly growing middle class coupled with a stagnating economy at home, the Chinese market could offer your business a great opportunity to expand.

It is necessary to consider the different legal systems when moving into any foreign market as it is unlikely that you will be protected abroad if you do not take the necessary steps. For example, registration of trade marks and patents in Europe does not provide protection in China. China is a 'first to file' country and it is hard to prove that you are the legitimate rights holder if someone has got there first. A way to counter this is to file for registration as soon as possible.

The China IPR SME Helpdesk supports European Union (EU) small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to both protect and enforce their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in or relating to China, through the provision of free information and services. These take the form of jargon-free, first-line, confidential advice on intellectual property and related issues, plus training events, materials and online resources.
For free expert advice on China IPR, EU SMEs can e-mail questions to question@china-iprhelpdesk.eu, and they will receive a reply from one of the Helpdesk experts within seven working days. The China IPR SME Helpdesk is funded by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR) under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

The China IPR SME Helpdesk Webpage can be accessed here

Also see the Own-it Podcast: Doing business in China - A practical guide for creative businesses

Top photo (some rights reserved) by digibard

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