New Developments in Vietnamese IP Regulations on Internet Domain Names

shutterstock_167099189In today’s blog post we take a  look at the recent developments in Vietnamese IP regulations concerning Internet Domain names and analyse the implications of these regulations to the European SMEs. 

On the 8 June 2016 the Ministry of Information and Communication and the Ministry of Science and Technology issued a Joint Circular on the amendment and recovery of domain names which breach the law on intellectual property.  The Joint Circular introduces a set of administrative proceedings that are available under the Vietnamese Law on Intellectual Property, for companies experiencing internet domain name infringement disputes. Such measures include clear deadlines for infringers to ensure they stop their activities and return the domain names to their rightful owners, as well as steps that the authorities can take if the infringers refuse to obey these regulations. Continue reading “New Developments in Vietnamese IP Regulations on Internet Domain Names” »

Back to the Basics Series: Patent Protection in China – Know Before You Go

patent-without backgroundAs many of us are returning from the well-deserved vacation, it is time to refresh our memories about the basics of IP protection in China. Today’s  blog post will take us back to the basics and discuss patent protection in China.  

It is a given that patent protection has to be requested before a respective product is introduced to the national market. However, it is less often considered how a product may appeal in other world markets, and that these may not extend automatic protection for an invention registered back home. In particular, a European registered patent has no legal effect in China.

This is of particular importance as an invention may be later mass-produced in China without even being sold there, though face equal exposure to infringement. Furthermore, patents are granted to the ‘first-to-file’ rather than the ‘first-to-use’, meaning timely patent protection in China for each and every innovation is absolutely crucial. Continue reading “Back to the Basics Series: Patent Protection in China – Know Before You Go” »

Protecting your IP whilst Transferring Technology to South-East Asia

xiandaishangwu2_221In today’s blog post, the Helpdesk team will provide you some valuable tips on how to safely transfer your technology to South-East Asian countries.

In recent years, European SMEs have started to look to the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to be a key player in the investment and development of several different types of technologies across a multitude of industries. Relatively low labor costs, high skill levels and diversity in the level of development across the region, enabling South-East Asia to attract a range of technologies, are making the region so attractive for the European SMEs.

Whilst accessing the lucrative South-East Asian markets, the European SMEs are often willing to ‘transfer’ some of their technologies and designs to local subsidiaries of European firms, joint-venture partners, or local manufacturing and service companies. One of the challenges facing European companies coming to South-East Asia is devising creative solutions to minimize the risk to their intellectual property associated with technology transfers. A technology transfer can happen in a number of different ways. European companies most commonly transfer their technology by licensing their patents, designs, software, trade secrets, and know-how.  A common misconception is that a technology transfer is limited to transfers of high technology. However, many European companies using contract manufacturing to manufacture low technology, consumer, or industrial products, such as those based on product designs, must deal with the same risks to their IP as their high technology counterparts. Continue reading “Protecting your IP whilst Transferring Technology to South-East Asia” »

How to Protect Interior Designs of Shops in China

shutterstock_385731427In today’s blog post, we will take a look at how SMEs can protect the interior design of their shops, which can be as important as protecting their brand and other types of IP. 

When Brent Hoberman, founder of online interior design and furniture store, made a trip to China one man was particularly keen to meet him. When they met, the man explained that he wanted to launch a web business but had no idea how to do it until he found and copied it. He only wished to express his appreciation personally to Mr Hoberman.

In 2011 the residents of Kunming, a city in the South-Western region of China were delighted to find an IKEA shop there. The copycat store is an enormous, multi-level shop that sells modern IKEA-like furniture and even copies the distinctive blue and yellow branding. The residents realized it was a fake, but have little choice as the closest real IKEA is in Chongqing, 940km away.

Store layouts, colours and designs become synonymous with a brand, so imitation of a store interior is very damaging to companies. At times it is increasingly difficult to separate the real from the fake. Continue reading “How to Protect Interior Designs of Shops in China” »