Design Patents and Utility Models in China: Know Before You Go

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In today’s blog-post, we will look into the relevance of Design Patents and Utility Models for European SMEs in China. China remains among the top destinations for any business looking to internationalise, and the business environment there is still evolving in terms of both production and consumption. Its growing capacity to produce sophisticated manufactures and complex services is matched by an increasingly affluent domestic consumer base that demands state-of-the-art, internationally popular brands and products.

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Although stories of Chinese counterfeits and brand infringements are still regular news in international media, the IPR system in China has seen considerable development in the last decade. This is propelled to a large extent by domestic industries innovating like never before and keen to protect their new technologies, and also those trying their chances with as many IPR filings as possible in order to improve their status or satisfy local government innovation drives. Whatever the reason, the number of patent applications shows the trend clearly: a 20.5% year-on-year increase for 2015 to more than 1,124,000 applications. Also, foreign patent applications are increasing fast, boasting a 14.9% year-on-year increase for 2015.

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IPR in the Tourism Industry in China

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According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, China is the fastest growing tourism source market in the world, as Chinese middle class is getting more affluent and it is increasingly able to afford traveling abroad. At the same time, China’s domestic tourism market is also growing in a fast pace, boasting 10% average annual growth rate.[1] Furthermore, as Chinese Government is committed to developing the tourism sector, plenty of business opportunities can arise for the European SMEs. In today’s blog-post, the China IPR SME Helpdesk will look into what EU SMEs should do to protect their IPR in the tourism sector in China.

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However, there are some significant restrictions for foreign-invested companies wishing to engage in Chinese ‘outbound’ tourism market, as all foreign-invested entities need to apply for a special license with the China National Tourism Administration. The application process is lengthy and currently only few foreign-invested companies are allowed to operate on China’s outbound tourism market.

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IP Considerations for ICT Industry in South-East Asia

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The ICT sector is considered to play a pivotal role in supporting regional integration and connectivity efforts between the countries in South-East Asia. The latest ASEAN ICT Industry Masterplan 2016-2020 aims to propel ASEAN towards a digitally-enabled economy that is secure, sustainable, and transformative and to enable an innovative, inclusive and integrated ASEAN Community[1]. The ICT industry is one of the sectors presenting major business growth opportunities for EU SMEs in South-East Asia.

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IPR Protection in Indonesia for Contemporary Design Industry

shutterstock_385731427Since Indonesia’s design market and especially furniture design market offers interesting opportunities for European SMEs, 40 selected companies recently took part of the EU Gateway Business Avenues mission, where they met with local companies in Indonesia in early March 2017 to find business opportunities. As IP protection is the key to successful new business endeavors abroad, then in today’s blog post, we have chosen to discuss IP protection issues in the contemporary design industry in Indonesia. You will learn what you need to do in order to ensure that your product design is protected in Indonesia. 

Market Opportunities for European SMEs in Indonesia

Indonesia’s contemporary design industry holds great potential for European SMEs, supported by government’s initiatives of further developing the industry. Furniture sector is currently the backbone of Indonesia’s design industry as, boosted by high export demands, industrial production in Indonesia’s furniture industry has recorded high increase rate and profits gains over the past few years, a trend which will continue in 2017 and beyond, as Indonesia aims at becoming the dominant player in ASEAN’s furniture market[1].

Indonesia’s contemporary design market offers interesting business opportunities for European SMEs especially those engaged in the furniture and interior design sector, as the country can offer a competitive manufacturing base with relatively low labor costs and a wide availability of skilled carpenters and wood carvers. Furthermore, the country has vast resources of natural materials like teak, rattan or bamboo, attracting the attention of foreign investors.

The domestic market of Indonesia seems equally promising for imported European design products, especially products relating to interior design and home improvement as there is increasing demand for interior design services due to the booming domestic property sector, such as hotels, condotels, and restaurants. Moreover, the continued expansion of an affluent middle class in the country is driving the demand up for boutique producers of high-end contemporary furniture as well as niche sectors (i.e. leather furniture, European classic style pieces)[2]. Continue reading “IPR Protection in Indonesia for Contemporary Design Industry” »

IPR Protection in Singapore for Contemporary Design Industry

Singapore designSince Singaporean design market offers interesting opportunities for European SMEs, 40 selected companies recently took part of the EU Gateway Business Avenues mission to Singapore, where they met with local companies in the context of the International Furniture Trade Fair that took place at the Singapore Expo just last week. As IP protection is the key to successful new business endeavors abroad, then in today’s blog post, we have chosen to discuss IP protection issues in the contemporary design industry in Singapore. You will learn what you need to do in order to ensure that your product design is protected in Singapore. 

Market Opportunities for European SMEs in Singapore

Underpinned by the efforts of the Singapore’s government to promote a shift to a high-tech creative economy in the industrial design and lifestyle sectors, Singapore is rapidly becoming a contemporary design hub, operating as a gateway to the whole Asian region. Being present in Singapore’s market, would also give European SMEs an easy access to the rest of Asia.

The domestic market of Singapore is also very promising for European SMEs in design sector. Changes in lifestyle across business and consumer segments have increased the demand for high quality products and new design solutions, which offers many business opportunities to European designers. Furthermore, increasing awareness and appetite for eco-friendly solutions amongst Singaporean increasingly affluent middle class offers lucrative business opportunities for European SMEs specialized in eco-design and new design solutions.

Promising business opportunities for European SMEs are also expected in the long run, as the demand for higher quality retail consumption is expected to grow steadily in Singapore. Forecasts show that over one-third of Singapore households will earn more than €135,000 by 2018[1]. Continue reading “IPR Protection in Singapore for Contemporary Design Industry” »