If you run a European company and you want to expand your business into China or are already there, protecting your company’s intellectual property (IP) is essential. This task can be a difficult one, but access to the right tools can significantly ease the process. For a start, we at the China IPR SME Helpdesk produce new, free guides, E-Learning Modules (ELMs) and live webinars on a regular basis to assist you in managing your IP in China – we do the research so you don’t have to. This post gives you an overview of our six most recent releases and what they can help your business with:
1. How do you avoid spending resources unnecessarily on applying for a trade mark in China?
‘How to conduct a trade mark search’ has just been published; this is the first of the Helpdesk’s ‘How to’ guides and does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a step-by-step description of the process of finding trade marks that have already been registered in China so you can make sure someone else hasn’t got yours first or registered something too similar to the one you want; it is something you can do yourself, saving money and resources.
2. How do you register a domain name in China or get one back from a cybersquatter?
Update of our guide to ‘Protection of Online IPR in China’. This year’s latest developments of Chinese online legislation are included and the guide importantly covers strategy for registering domain names in China (how much it should cost, how long it should take and where you can get the process done), and wrestling back domain names you need from cybersquatters who register domains with the sole intention of selling them on.
3. Are you making sure you own your innovation?
ELM: Research and Development in China for European Businesses: Many business activities you conduct in China are likely to involve some element of R&D; China has specific laws on ownership of anything produced by your employees or by your partners through licensing. These laws may surprise you, don’t get caught out!
4. Is your contract watertight?
ELM: Using Contracts to protect your IP in China: These ELMs link nicely. The right contract is a particularly useful tool for protecting all sorts of IP, especially those types that can’t be registered; use contracts to ensure confidentiality. The ELM also identifies the contractual provisions you SHOULD be using and the ones you SHOULDN’T.
5. How do you enforce your IP in China?
Webinar on China IP Enforcement: Once you’ve registered your IP in China (if you haven’t done so yet, do it now!) you need to know about enforcing your rights. This means monitoring markets for infringers and having an idea of the most practical (and cost-efficient) ways to stop their activities – this does not necessarily mean going to court… Troy Rice, who has spent most of his professional life dealing with IP rights enforcement, presented this webinar, offering advice on how a small business can realistically act on infringers in China. We will soon be publishing a guide on this subject as well so watch this space!
6. Do you work in the Toy industry? Yes? What should you know?
Webinar for Toy industry businesses: We partnered with Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) to tackle IP issues in China for European businesses from the toy sector. Amongst many topics, our expert, Maarten Roos, spoke about counterfeits and the problem they pose the industry in Europe. 85% of counterfeit toys in the EU are imported from China. 85%! So, it’s important to register your rights in China even if it is not your primary market.
Any China IP subjects you would like to know more about? Let us know!