Intellectual Property and Shandong’s Tech-driven Growth


shutterstock_245934913Business continues to boom in Shandong, with manufacturing dominating the economy; in the past the province has been a cradle for some of China’s better known national champions, such as electronics manufacturers Haier and Hisense, and others are likely to soon follow. Machinery and component manufacture has been particularly important in driving the industrial development of Qingdao, and this has been boosted by the local government’s efforts to attract high-tech foreign firms to Shandong, via special high-tech and export zones.

Qingdao and the other major industrial cities in Shandong (like Yantai, Zibo, Weifang, Jinan) are an attractive option for advanced manufacturing, not least because of their relatively cheap rent, easy access to a large concentration of suppliers, and well-established shipping routes. However, the threat of intellectual property theft, such as the copying of designs, patented inventions, or company trade marks, remains high throughout China and no less so in Shandong. Continue reading “Intellectual Property and Shandong’s Tech-driven Growth” »

Benefits of an FTA in South-East Asia from SMEs’ perspective: experience from Vietnam


EU-VietnamFTA – An increasingly hot topic in South-East Asia

Brief overview of the advantages of FTA

In recent decades Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have become more and more prolific in South-East Asia as nations strive to boost the volume of trade. FTAs are considered to be beneficial, as they; enhance trading opportunities, increase exports, create stronger ties between trading partners, offer new opportunities for foreign investment and wider economic integration by lowering trade barriers and harmonizing legal and regulatory systems through the application of international standards.

On-going FTA negotiations in South-East Asia

The instrument of FTAs is widely used by various governments. Currently, there is a great number of FTAs (almost 40 according to World Trade Organization (WTO)) already in the implementation phase in the South-East Asia region and many more in the negotiation phase. Vietnam, for example, is included in the implementation of at least 12 FTAs and has recently initialled 4 more FTAs, including the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA). The European Union (EU) has worked towards establishing FTAs with a number of South-East Asian countries in order to boost trade in a more predictable environment for trade and investment relations. Following the conclusion of the EU-Singapore FTA in 2014, negotiations with Vietnam were completed in December 2015 – the same month in which negotiations for an FTA with the Philippines were launched. The EU also remains committed to resuming negotiations with Malaysia and Thailand when conditions are right. It has also concluded the scoping exercise with Indonesia and is working towards the opening of FTA negotiations. This article will take a closer look at the changes that the EVFTA will implement in relation to IPR and what this may mean for European SMEs. Continue reading “Benefits of an FTA in South-East Asia from SMEs’ perspective: experience from Vietnam” »

Tips for Protecting your IP in China and South-East Asia


woshou2_007China 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. Continue reading “Tips for Protecting your IP in China and South-East Asia” »

UK-China IP Forum Looks at Growing Two-way Need for Protection


Brit Cham picToday our partners from the British Chamber of Commerce in China share with us some valuable insights on China’s future IPR developments, presented at the UK-China Intellectual Property Forum.

The UK-China (Shenzhen) Intellectual Property Forum was held on 29 April 2016 in Shenzhen, organised by the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and the British Chamber of Commerce Guangdong and hosted by the British Consulate-General Guangzhou, the UK Intellectual Property Office, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (Shenzhen Sub-Council) and the Guangdong Innovative Talents Promotion Association. Continue reading “UK-China IP Forum Looks at Growing Two-way Need for Protection” »

Back to the Basics Series: Protecting your IP at Trade Fairs in China


dreamstime_m_24720610Trade fairs are an excellent opportunity for a business to showcase their new products and scout out business partners for manufacturing, promotion, and distribution. Unfortunately, in China these exhibitions are a common prowling ground for infringers, so it is of utmost importance to ensure all intellectual property precautions are undertaken. It is not sufficient to merely gain intellectual property rights for a company’s assets – steps should be taken before, during and after a trade fair to ensure maximum protection. This article takes a look at some of the steps foreign businesses should take.

Before the trade fair: fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Determine your strategy in advance of the trade fair. Do you want to take enforcement action at the fair, or only use the fair as an opportunity to gather evidence? If you are not certain about securing all necessary evidence and paperwork to carry out an action at the fair, gathering evidence there first may be a better strategy. Continue reading “Back to the Basics Series: Protecting your IP at Trade Fairs in China” »