The intellectual property rights (IPR) available in China are very similar to those available in Europe. Assuming you have registered your IP and found it being infringed then you will want to enforce it. How might you find out your products have been infringed? Your customers might tell you about competing products, you might find infringements for sale on the internet, you might see infringing products at a trade fair etc… The China IPR SME Helpdesk recently published a guide on IPR enforcement in China entitled Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in China which will provide you with an overview of the steps you should take once you have gathered sufficient information and decided to take action and enforce your IPR rights in China.
The guide breaks it down into four main enforcement options in China which you’ll want to know about:
- Administrative actions
- civil litigation
- criminal sanctions
- customs seizures
Here are a few take away lessons highlighted in the guide:
Register your intellectual property rights. Unless you have registered your rights you have almost no recourse in China.
Be vigilant. Patrol trade fairs and surf the various b2b and b2c websites (such as Alibaba and Taobao) on the lookout for infringing articles.
When you identify infringement, enforce your rights. If you build a reputation for being litigious then companies will be less likely to infringe your rights in future. The resources required to achieve such a reputation very much depend on the extent of the infringement.
Build your case carefully. Ensure that you are taking action against the right company in the right form.
Of course if you can’t find what you are looking for in the guide, checkout the Helpdesk’s recording and PPT for an event on the same topic.