The realities of doing business in China – Copyrights and Trade Marks

dreamstime_m_24720610In today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at copyrights and trade mark rights in China. You’ll learn how to protect these right in China and how to create a comprehensive trade mark and copyright protection strategy before entering China’s market.

China’s intellectual property rights (IPR) system has come a long way in the past 30 years, and development continues – a revision of the trade mark law came into force in May, paving the way for more thorough protection for rights holders. Although China is now coming into line with international IPR standards, there are still many ways in which the system differs from the European one. Below, the China IPR SME Helpdesk takes a look at two major types of intellectual property rights, trade marks and copyright, and considers how these differ from European standards.

Copyrights

The Chinese system for copyrights is very similar to that used in Europe. Copyrights last for 50 years from the date of creation, or the lifetime of the author plus 50 years, and it protects a range of creations, such as artistic works, books, websites, or computer software. As in Ireland, copyrights are automatically protected as long as the creator can be clearly identified; however, unlike most countries in Europe, China also offers copyright registration for owners, a process handled through the Copyright Protection Centre of China (CPCC). Continue reading “The realities of doing business in China – Copyrights and Trade Marks” »

Software Protection in South-East Asia

close-up-2178341_1920In today’s blog post we are discussing how to protect your software IP rights in South-East Asia, where ICT and software sector has been booming in recent years, offering many promising opportunities to European SMEs. This article takes a closer look at the source code protection with copyrights, patent protection for software related inventions and discusses how to safely licence your software in South-East Asia. 

The Information Technology services and software sector in South-East Asia have been booming in recent years as South-East Asian nations continue to develop through many innovative technological solutions. In particular, South-East Asia is experiencing a rapid growth of Internet, digital and social media and mobile activities. With more than 320 million Internet users in 2017, increasing connectivity and therefore dependence on computer technology is to be expected in this region. This translates to growth in the software industry which leads to many promising opportunities for the European SMEs in the region, whose top-notch technology and know-how will be sought after.

Before entering South-East Asian markets, however, EU SMEs should be aware of the different IP rights and how they apply to the software industry, as well as the possible risk of IP infringement in these markets. This is increasingly important with many companies developing their own software, and software development being an ever-growing industry. European SMEs should thus have a comprehensive IP strategy in place when entering the promising markets of South-East Asia. Continue reading “Software Protection in South-East Asia” »

Structural changes in IPR registration and Enforcement bodies in China

EU SMEs should be made aware of important changes made to the structure of Intellectual Property registration, management and enforcement governing bodies in China which were announced in the context of the annual plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (also known as ‘Two Sessions’) which took place in early March. The restructuring of IP management and enforcement bodies is part of a wider reorganization of China’s  ministries and agencies in order to increase their efficiency. The date at which these changes will come into effect has not yet been announced.

The following existing entities are to merge together and fall under the umbrella of a newly created State Market Supervision Administration (SMSA):

  • State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO): This is the Chinese patent office and it is also in charge of the IP foreign affairs. This is the entity at which European SMEs register their patents in China.
  • State Administration of Industry and Commerce’s Function of Trademark Management: Currently Trademark registration is handled before CTMO (China Trade Mark Office), which is under SAIC (State Administration of Industry and Commerce).
  • General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine’s Function of “Place of Origin” Label Management (AQSIQ): They are currently in charge of Geographical Indications. GIs are registered here in China by the regional organisations responsible for these GIs.

Continue reading “Structural changes in IPR registration and Enforcement bodies in China” »

IP Protection for the ICT Industry in Malaysia

board-453758_1920In today’s blog post we are discussing IP protection in Malaysia’s ICT industry, which has recently been offering many promising business opportunities for the European SMEs. You’ll  learn more about patent and design protection and how to ensure that your brand is safe from counterfeiting. 

Malaysia has a booming ICT industry with the ICT sector being forecasted to contribute about 20% to the country’s GDP by 2020.[1] The ICT sector is being further supported by Malaysian government that has taken special interest in developing the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing. The government namely hopes that adoption of cloud computing and building on the National Broadband Initiative, would accelerate Malaysia’s development into an advanced economy[2].

As the government is investing heavily into ICT- related projects like developing smart city infrastructure or strengthening cybersecurity, the ICT sector will offer many promising business opportunities for the European SMEs whose top-notch technology and know-how are highly sought after through encouragement of foreign investments in the ICT sector.

European ICT companies should, however, pay attention to protecting their IP rights when planning their business strategy for Malaysia’s market, because IP infringements are still relatively common in the country. Well-managed IP is often a key factor for business success and neglecting to register IP rights in Malaysia could easily end SMEs’ business endeavor in the country. Thus, a robust IPR strategy is needed, when entering Malaysia’s market. Continue reading “IP Protection for the ICT Industry in Malaysia” »

Design Rights Protection in South-East Asia

shutterstock_385731427In today’s blog post, we are discussing the protection of design rights in South-East Asia. You’ll learn how to protect the aesthetic aspects of your products or how to protect some aspects of your product packaging. The article also gives an overview on how to enforce your rights once an infringement has occurred.

It is essential for SMEs doing business in South-East Asia to protect their intellectual property rights, as poor IP strategy often leads to the end of business endeavor in the region. Design rights are useful, but oftentimes overlooked means of protecting IP in South-East Asia.

An industrial design right, also known as a design patent in certain jurisdictions, is an exclusive right, which protects designs which give a competitive edge to the owner over competitors due to their aesthetic appeal. Industrial designs can take the form of either two- or three-dimensional shapes, configuration or patterns. Prominent examples include the iPod, shape of the Coca Cola bottle, computer icons, and even the design of mobile applications.

To obtain industrial design protection, SMEs must file an application to register the design in all the countries they foresee business activities, since design rights like other IP rights are territorial. Like patents, protection for industrial rights lasts for a limited period and the duration can vary from country to country. Generally, protection lasts for at least 10 years. Continue reading “Design Rights Protection in South-East Asia” »