Dealing with Counterfeiters in China’s Cosmetics Market

cosmeticsDespite major improvements in China’s IP laws and regulations in recent years, counterfeiting is still commonplace in the country and European SMEs wishing to do business in China need to adopt robust IP strategies in order to succeed on China’s lucrative market. In today’s blog post, we are taking a closer look at what are some extra IP protection measures besides registering your IP in China that European SMEs, engaged in cosmetics industry, can take to minimize the risks of counterfeiting. 

Introduction

As with companies in any economic sectors, cosmetics firms have much to gain from early protection of their IPR. Registering IP with Chinese authorities and customs before beginning any type of business activity in the country potentially saves SMEs lot of money as being able to build strong cases against any local firms which may try to steal their IP is only possible when IP is registered in China. Many would-be infringers, however, will move straight to counterfeiting and begin to create knockoff products in the hopes of profiting from SMEs hard work. In these cases, early IP registration is not always enough. Instead, complementary to early IP registrations, SMEs should also adopt a strategy which seeks to defeat counterfeiters through both attrition (by making counterfeiting extremely difficult to accomplish) and offensive action (by coordinating with authorities to conduct raids and launch investigations to halt infringement).

“Soft” Prevention Methods: IPR registrations, online sweeps, and consumer education

An SME’s first step in fighting counterfeiting should always be prevention, halting counterfeiters before they have a chance to create fake products, which will erode an SME’s profit margins and public goodwill. To this end, nothing is more effective than registering IP early. Registering trade marks, industrial designs, patents, etc. with the relevant Chinese authorities can give SMEs powerful legal recourses in the case of an infringement. For larger counterfeit manufacturers with proper factories capable of churning out thousands of counterfeit products a day, the risk of seizure of assets by administrative agencies or customs and awards of damages (or jail time) from People’s Courts pose a significant deterrent. Continue reading “Dealing with Counterfeiters in China’s Cosmetics Market” »

Registering New Top Level Domain Names in China

shutterstock_167099189E-commerce is rapidly growing in China with Chinese consumers already making up for almost half of global online retail sales. This development offers lots of lucrative business opportunities for European SMEs. When entering Chinese market, a Chinese top level domain name often helps to attract customers. In today’s blog post we therefore focus again on top level domain names’ registration in China. 

Internet usage is booming in China. With more than 701 million ‘netizens’ (as of December  2016), China connects more people to the Internet than any other country. In fact, every fourth person on the Internet is from China. Facilitated by the increasing availability of broadband technology and the growing trend towards online shopping and purchasing, the Internet is an attractive business and marketing platform for many European SMEs. The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has also now removed barriers to overseas companies and individuals to register domain names in China, and it is recommended that European SMEs take advantage of this if they are planning on entering the Chinese market or are already in China.

New and Less Restricted Domain Name Requirements

From May 2012, .cn and .中国 domain name registrations became available again for private individual registrations (both Chinese and overseas). The process takes a few weeks and currently costs €50-€100.

The following steps are required:

  • Translate your domain names into Chinese and find an accredited registrar using either of these sources (domain name registration must be completed through an accredited registrar).

Continue reading “Registering New Top Level Domain Names in China” »

How to Remove Counterfeit Goods from E-Commerce Sites in China

Online IPR ProtectionAs more and more European SMEs embrace the popular e-commerce concept in China, they are also confronted with online counterfeiting problems. Today’s blog post discusses how European SMEs can monitor online selling sites and how they can start the notice and take down process to remove counterfeits from the most famous Chinese online e-commerce sites like Taobao and Alibaba. 

China: Counterfeit goods and the internet

The internet has become a popular and easy channel for product distribution around the world. It has created a marketplace of more than half a billion users in China, more than a third of the world’s total online population, and is still expanding. Apart from being a forum for legitimate vendors and original products, the internet is also used by illegal and unscrupulous businesses as a platform for the distribution of counterfeit goods which infringe intellectual property rights (IPR).

As the internet provides a convenient platform for counterfeits, we recommend that every European SME (especially those with successful products) should monitor Chinese e-commerce sites for infringing products. By moving quickly you will be able to have infringing products removed from sale and preserve your market share. Although some companies find that internet monitoring is time consuming but you may find yourself at high risk if you sell your product on the Chinese market, manufacture your product in China or even if you have a popular product on sale in Europe. Continue reading “How to Remove Counterfeit Goods from E-Commerce Sites in China” »

South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: GIs in Malaysia

Photo Andrea Parrish GeyerGeographical indications (GIs) are any type of symbol, mark, etc. which is used to identify the country, region, or area from which goods originate and to which is assigned a given reputation. For example, Champagne is one of France’s most famous GIs, and goods marked as Champagne must be produced in the Champagne region and are reputed to be of high quality. Similar products not from the area must content themselves with descriptions such as “Made in Champagne-style” or “sparkling wine.” Malaysia boasts some indigenous GIs, such as Sarawak Peppers and Sabah Seaweed. In this article we’ll be looking at how you can protect your GIs in Malaysia.

Continue reading “South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: GIs in Malaysia” »

South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Copyright in Malaysia

copyright, page 2Copyright in Malaysia is governed by the Copyright Act (1987) and the Berne Convention (to which Malaysia acceded in 1990). As a member of the Berne Convention, Malaysia recognises a wide variety of artistic works which are copyrightable, including literary, artistic, and musical works, sound recordings and films, drawings, computer codes, and more. All artistic works receive protection for the form of the work’s expression—meaning, for example, that your code is protected, but you cannot prevent someone from writing different code which accomplishes the same thing by using copyright.

In today’s article we explore the Malaysian copyright system, with a focus on how European SME’s can best exploit it to protect their materials.

Continue reading “South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Copyright in Malaysia” »