The realities of doing business in China – Copyrights and Trade Marks

dreamstime_m_24720610In today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at copyrights and trade mark rights in China. You’ll learn how to protect these right in China and how to create a comprehensive trade mark and copyright protection strategy before entering China’s market.

China’s intellectual property rights (IPR) system has come a long way in the past 30 years, and development continues – a revision of the trade mark law came into force in May, paving the way for more thorough protection for rights holders. Although China is now coming into line with international IPR standards, there are still many ways in which the system differs from the European one. Below, the China IPR SME Helpdesk takes a look at two major types of intellectual property rights, trade marks and copyright, and considers how these differ from European standards.

Copyrights

The Chinese system for copyrights is very similar to that used in Europe. Copyrights last for 50 years from the date of creation, or the lifetime of the author plus 50 years, and it protects a range of creations, such as artistic works, books, websites, or computer software. As in Ireland, copyrights are automatically protected as long as the creator can be clearly identified; however, unlike most countries in Europe, China also offers copyright registration for owners, a process handled through the Copyright Protection Centre of China (CPCC). Continue reading “The realities of doing business in China – Copyrights and Trade Marks” »

Software Protection in South-East Asia

close-up-2178341_1920In today’s blog post we are discussing how to protect your software IP rights in South-East Asia, where ICT and software sector has been booming in recent years, offering many promising opportunities to European SMEs. This article takes a closer look at the source code protection with copyrights, patent protection for software related inventions and discusses how to safely licence your software in South-East Asia. 

The Information Technology services and software sector in South-East Asia have been booming in recent years as South-East Asian nations continue to develop through many innovative technological solutions. In particular, South-East Asia is experiencing a rapid growth of Internet, digital and social media and mobile activities. With more than 320 million Internet users in 2017, increasing connectivity and therefore dependence on computer technology is to be expected in this region. This translates to growth in the software industry which leads to many promising opportunities for the European SMEs in the region, whose top-notch technology and know-how will be sought after.

Before entering South-East Asian markets, however, EU SMEs should be aware of the different IP rights and how they apply to the software industry, as well as the possible risk of IP infringement in these markets. This is increasingly important with many companies developing their own software, and software development being an ever-growing industry. European SMEs should thus have a comprehensive IP strategy in place when entering the promising markets of South-East Asia. Continue reading “Software Protection in South-East Asia” »

General Office of Communist Party of China and State Council issued Opinion regarding Reform and Innovation for Trial of Intellectual Property Cases

RegisteredToday’s blog post has been kindly shared with us by our China IPR SME Helpdesk external expert Mr. Charles Feng from East & Concord Partners. In this article, Mr. Feng interprets and explains the recent “Opinion regarding Improvement of Reform and Innovation for Intellectual Property related Trials” jointly issued by the General Office of Chinese Communist Party and the State Council.

On February 6, 2018, General Office of Chinese Communist Party and State Council jointly issued the official document namely “Opinion regarding Improvement of Reform and Innovation for Intellectual Property related Trials” (the “Opinion”). Vice President of Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”), Judge Tao, made interpretation to the IP Opinion during the press conference and was interviewed following the issuance on February 27.

The IP Opinion consisting of four parts includes the General Requirement, Perfection of IP Trial System, Enhancement of IP Court System, and Improvement of Arrangement and Coordination, which were specified as follows.

I General Requirement

The Opinion positioned the IP protection issue as the basic measure for encouragement and guarantee to innovation and creation that builds the foundation to the National Strategy to establish a Nation that is strong in IP as well as science and technology.

Comments by Charles Feng

The Opinion was the first strategic document issued by CPC and State Council, the top administrative body of China, which declared the IP protection as the major approach to protect innovation and development.  Continue reading “General Office of Communist Party of China and State Council issued Opinion regarding Reform and Innovation for Trial of Intellectual Property Cases” »

Protecting R&D Innovations in the Philippines

Mech Eng 2In today’s blog post we are discussing how to protect your IP in the Philippines while conducting R&D activities. You’ll learn more about Non-Disclosure contracts and patents and how to protect your new IP that is being created in the Philippines. 

Many European SMEs may not consider that they conduct any research and development (R&D) in the Philippines because they do not have a laboratory or research facility there, but in reality, a high proportion of these companies engage in activities which fall under at least one of the terms: research or development.

Some examples of R&D might include an SME that enters into a contract with a local company to use their engineers to develop a prototype into a commercial product or application; or an SME that works with local researchers in a Philippine university to design a digital database that is to be accessible via the Internet to users in Europe.

Even though the Philippines has its problems with R&D, as according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, published by the World Economic Forum, it ranked 83rd out of 138 countries in terms of technological readiness[1], the Philippines’ government is committed to making the country an ‘active player’ in the global knowledge economy[2]. This means that European SMEs can have promising business opportunities in the Philippines’ R&D sector as their know-how will be highly sought after.

IP is a critical consideration for European SMEs that come to the Philippines wishing to tap into this increasingly high-tech production network, or the talent pool for technology development. When engaging in R&D in the Philippines, new intellectual property is being created, the rights to which need to be clearly defined from the outset to avoid disagreements later. Continue reading “Protecting R&D Innovations in the Philippines” »

Structural changes in IPR registration and Enforcement bodies in China

EU SMEs should be made aware of important changes made to the structure of Intellectual Property registration, management and enforcement governing bodies in China which were announced in the context of the annual plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (also known as ‘Two Sessions’) which took place in early March. The restructuring of IP management and enforcement bodies is part of a wider reorganization of China’s  ministries and agencies in order to increase their efficiency. The date at which these changes will come into effect has not yet been announced.

The following existing entities are to merge together and fall under the umbrella of a newly created State Market Supervision Administration (SMSA):

  • State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO): This is the Chinese patent office and it is also in charge of the IP foreign affairs. This is the entity at which European SMEs register their patents in China.
  • State Administration of Industry and Commerce’s Function of Trademark Management: Currently Trademark registration is handled before CTMO (China Trade Mark Office), which is under SAIC (State Administration of Industry and Commerce).
  • General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine’s Function of “Place of Origin” Label Management (AQSIQ): They are currently in charge of Geographical Indications. GIs are registered here in China by the regional organisations responsible for these GIs.

Continue reading “Structural changes in IPR registration and Enforcement bodies in China” »