Practical tips for protecting your IP in China and South-East Asia

dreamstime_m_24720610Protecting your IP is extremely important when doing business in China or in South-East Asia, as inadequate IP strategy can often lead to the end of your business endeavor in both regions,  since counterfeiting and other IP violations are still commonplace in China and South-East Asia. In today’s blog post you can find some practical tips for protecting your IP in China and in South-East Asia,  allowing you to draft a sound IP strategy for both regions.

China and the majority of South-East Asian countries have recently shown considerable efforts in creating stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) protection systems and in bringing their existing intellectual property laws in line with, or closer to, international standards. However, counterfeiting, trade mark infringements and other IPR infringements remain one of the major issues both in China and in the South-East Asian region. When European SMEs enter these markets, there are some key points they need to look out for in order to ensure their IPR is effectively protected.

IP Laws are territorial, register your IP

European SMEs should be aware that IP laws are territorial (and this applies in both South-East Asia and China), meaning that IPR are only enforceable upon valid domestic registration. SMEs planning to enter the South-East Asian and Chinese markets are faced with the question of when to register their trade mark, patents or designs. The answer is as soon as a company considers internationalizing its sales and activities, they should take steps to register their trade marks and other IP in the countries of destination. Obtaining the relevant information and taking advance action is the key to effective protection. Continue reading “Practical tips for protecting your IP in China and South-East Asia” »

IP Protection Strategies for European SMEs Active in the Philippines’ Water Management Sector

200As water management is becoming an ever more pressing issue for the Philippines, there are also more opportunities for European SMEs to find promising business opportunities in the Philippines’ water management sector, especially  as European top-notch technology is highly sought after. With every opportunity also comes a risk, especially as counterfeiting and other IP violations are still commonplace in the Philippines. In today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at how European SMEs, wishing to do business in the Philippines’  water management sector, can best protect their IP. 

For a country surrounded by the ocean, it comes as no surprise that water is a priority sector in the Philippines. A large majority of its 7,000 islands directly deals with water management challenges: while some islands have water-sources still left unexplored, others are actively searching for solutions in light of a decreased water-quality. The quality of the Pasig River flowing through Manila is notorious even for international standards, especially as progress to revive its water-quality has been slow and without considerable success. This is further enhanced in light of ongoing trends related to climate change, where a combination of rising sea-levels and an ever-present risk for natural disasters – like 2013’s Super Typhoon Haiyan – continuously shapes how people live and engage with water.

The range of solutions needed in the Philippines is not limited to just more traditional approaches of dikes or hydro-dams. Its geographical set-up in combination with local livelihoods highly dependent on water forces European companies providing water-related services to often look for case-specific and dynamic solutions. From electricity-generation, to water-sanitation, waste-water management or disaster risk reduction, this often results in a quite complex and innovative solution where European technology can play a central role. As European companies start to tap into this promising market, they should not neglect protecting their IP rights in the Philippines a good IP strategy can make the difference between succeeding or failing in the Philippines’ market, while counterfeiting and other IP violations are still relatively commonplace in the country. Continue reading “IP Protection Strategies for European SMEs Active in the Philippines’ Water Management Sector” »

How to Remove Counterfeit Goods from Major E-Commerce Sites in China

2. Credit CardDespite the fact that Chinese IP laws have improved a lot in the past years, counterfeiting still exists in China. In today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at how European SMEs can fight against counterfeits on China’s major e-commerce sites like Taobao and Jingdong. This blog post offers some advice on how to find counterfeits of your product online and explains the mechanisms that exist for removing counterfeits from major e-commerce websites.

China: Counterfeit goods and the internet

The internet has become a popular and easy channel for product distribution around the world. It has created a marketplace of more than half a billion users in China, more than a third of the world’s total online population, and is still expanding. Apart from being a forum for legitimate vendors and original products, the internet is also used by illegal and unscrupulous businesses as a platform for the distribution of counterfeit goods which infringe intellectual property rights.

As the internet provides a convenient platform for counterfeits, we recommend that every European SME (especially those with successful products) should monitor Chinese e-commerce sites for infringing products. By moving quickly you will be able to have infringing products removed from sale and preserve your market share. Although some companies find that internet monitoring is time consuming but you may find yourself at high risk if you sell your product on the Chinese market, manufacture your product in China or even if you have a popular product on sale in Europe.

This guide provides you with information on the regulations governing e-commerce and a practical introduction on how to have infringing products removed from two popular Chinese e-commerce sites: Alibaba and Taobao.

Continue reading “How to Remove Counterfeit Goods from Major E-Commerce Sites in China” »

Indonesia: New Notice Allows for Revival of Lapsed Patents

patent-without backgroundGood news for the European SMEs whose patents in Indonesia have lapsed because of non-payment, it is now possible to revive these patents. Today’s blog post explaining the decision of Indonesia’s Directorate General of Intellectual Property about the revival of lapsed patents has  been kindly drafted for us by our South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk external expert Ms. Wongrat Ratanaprayul from Tilleke & Gibbins. 

Indonesia’s Directorate General of Intellectual Property issued a notice on December 28, 2017, addressing the revival of null and void patents. The notice allows patent holders, licensees, and intellectual property consultants to revive patents that have lapsed due to non-payment of annuities.

It is now possible to revive a lapsed patent by completing payment of annuity fees that were not paid on time according to the law. In order to do so, the patent holder must submit a declaration stating that they will not take any legal action against another party for infringement of the revived patent during the lapsed period.

There is no explanation as to whether third parties must immediately cease practicing a previously lapsed patent once it has been revived, or whether the patent owner would have the ability to take legal action against such a third party for ongoing infringement once the patent has been revived.

This notice leaves serious concerns about what happens to third parties who have started lawfully using a patent after it has lapsed. Since no further detail on this notice is available, the business implications for such third parties could be tremendous.

For holders of lapsed patents, however, the ability to recover such rights is a significant opportunity. Patent owners should therefore review their patent portfolios in Indonesia and assess whether to take advantage of this new opportunity to revive lapsed patents. Continue reading “Indonesia: New Notice Allows for Revival of Lapsed Patents” »

IP Protection Strategies in China for Start-ups

growthIn today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at how start-ups, planning to set up their activities in China or have their products produced in China,  could best protect their IP rights. You will learn more about the importance of patent protection and trade mark protection and why these types of IP are essential for the start-ups.

For small start-ups the prospect of where to even start with an IP strategy can oftentimes be a daunting task as other concerns like building a good team, structuring the company, attracting investment and developing the product tend to take up all the time and attention of the business owners. At the same time, a robust IP Strategy is crucial for business’ success when planning to enter the lucrative market of China. Besides helping the start-ups to protect their innovations from competitors, IP assets can also be a significant pull-factor when attracting investors.

Protect your inventions with patents

Patent protection in extremely important for start-ups as patents protect innovations, limit competition and help to defend against claims of infringement by other companies producing similar products. Furthermore, patents can attract investors, which is fundamental for start-ups. Thus it is important to apply for patent protection in China when planning to enter its market. Continue reading “IP Protection Strategies in China for Start-ups” »