Enforcing IPR in China: a Case Study

courtEnforcing your IP rights in case of an infringement is one of the key factors of business success in China as the reputation of being litigious eventually discourages counterfeiters from infringing on your products. In today’s blog post we will take a look at how one French garment company dealt with IP infringements and what did the company learn from its experience.

Creative industry goods are valuable not only for their designs but often their trade marks too, and businesses should be aware that intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement can target either or both of these types of intangible assets. However, in actual cases of infringement enforcement processes are not always straightforward, and careful consideration and adaptation of strategies is necessary, as illustrated in this case study of a French garment designer.

Background

A French company “A” entered into a joint venture agreement with a Chinese company “B” in order to manufacture and export a seasonal garment collection to Europe. To minimise costs, the design of each individual piece of clothes was not been protected in China. However the trade mark appearing on the collar label was registered.

“A” was providing their new patterns to “B”, 3 to 4 months prior to the launch of their collection. “B” was then sub-contracting the manufacture of the garments to another factory of which “A” was not aware. The goods were then exported by “B” to “A”, who was receiving the goods for distribution in their stores. Additionally, “A” did not have any local representative in China to supervise and check production and quality.

After two or three collections were manufactured, the quality of the production started going down to the extent that “A” had to refuse entire shipments of goods. As the poor quality of the products was putting its business in jeopardy, “A” was forced to find an alternative way to manufacture the goods. Continue reading “Enforcing IPR in China: a Case Study” »