Writing a Good Manufacturing Non-disclosure Agreement in China

MP900438585In today’s blog post we are discussing how to protect IP when seeking Chinese manufacturers and will address what it takes to design an NNN (non-use, non-disclosure, and non-circumvention agreements) which can pose enough of a credible threat to dissuade contract violations.

Defining protected information: keeping everyone on the same page

NNN agreements should clearly define which rights are being disclosed or licensed, their nature, and their scope. Clear mechanisms for identifying and marking, accounting for, and maintaining secrecy for this information (or indications of who will bear these responsibilities, what general types of information should be considered confidential, or processes for retroactively marking material as confidential) should be present. If desired, additional clauses can also outline what types of information will not be considered confidential. Naturally, before these types of information can be identified, an SME should first understand just what its trade secrets are. Conducting an IP assessment and audit can identify key IP which was otherwise taken for granted or not fully appreciated by the SME and can assign a value to the IP which will make calculating contract damages much easier.

While the contract is in force, these rules should be strictly followed. Over the course of the contract, additional IP may be generated as a result of the work of employees or independent innovations on the part of the manufacturer. NNN agreements can also include clauses which dictate that all such IP belongs to the SME and can thereby avoid future disputes. Note, however, that China places restrictions on the export of some technology—meaning that agreements automatically granting new IP to the SME could be struck down in court. Continue reading “Writing a Good Manufacturing Non-disclosure Agreement in China” »

IP Considerations in the Medical Device & Healthcare Industry in South-East Asia

the-device-1822457_1920In today’s blog post we are discussing how to best protect your IP in the medical device and healthcare sector in South-East Asia. You will learn more about patent protection, design protection and trade mark protection in this industry. Since medical device and healthcare industry is very R&D intensive, we are also discussing how to protect your IP while conducting R&D activities in South-East Asia.  

Rapid demographic changes and health reforms within South-East Asia are expected to create enormous demands in the health care market in the near future. Growth in average annual healthcare expenditure between 2014-18 is expected to be around 11% of GDP in ASEAN – but with highly varied rates among the countries: Vietnam with the highest at 6.6% and Myanmar with the lowest at 1.8%.[1] At the same time, amongst many South-East Asia countries, local pharmaceuticals are not well trusted, making way for foreign players with strong brands to establish significant market share in South-East Asia. This offers many promising business opportunities for the European SMEs engaged in medical device and healthcare industries, as European brands with high and positive brand recognition are expected to be favored by local governments and clinicians over their lesser-known competitors.

The healthcare industry in South-East Asia also serves a rapidly growing medical tourism industry which is expanding globally at a rate of about 25% and it is claimed that nearly a third of all medical tourists in the world receive medical attention in South-East Asia[2]. Furthermore, many South-East Asian countries like Thailand and Singapore aspire to become the medical and healthcare hubs in the region, offering various opportunities for the European SMEs.

Even though, IP laws and regulations have improved a lot in South-East Asia over the past five years, counterfeiting and other IP violations are still commonplace in the region. EU SMEs would therefore benefit from understanding the different intellectual property rights that are relevant to the medical device & healthcare industry and determine the effective way to protect their IP rights in South-East Asia. Continue reading “IP Considerations in the Medical Device & Healthcare Industry in South-East Asia” »

How to Remove Counterfeit Goods from E-Commerce Sites in South-East Asia

2. Credit CardE-commerce has also been growing in South-East Asia and it’s attracting many European Companies. Together with the growth of e-commerce, the presence of counterfeit goods on these e-commerce sites has also been growing. In today’s blog post we are discussing how to remove counterfeits from the major e-commerce sites like Lazada in South-East Asia. 

A growing middle class coupled with increasing internet access has led to fast-paced e-commerce growth in South-East Asia in the past decades. The middle-class population of ASEAN, according to expert estimates, may grow from 190 million in 2012 to 400 million in 2020[1] . Additionally, there are approximately 200 million people in South-East Asia with access to the internet and this number is expected to grow three-fold by 2025. E-commerce in South-East Asia can thus offer many promising business opportunities for the European SMEs.

Besides being a forum for legitimate vendors and original products, the internet is also used by unscrupulous businesses as a platform for the distribution of counterfeit goods which infringe intellectual property rights of others. The explosive growth in access to the internet has resulted in counterfeiters to move their illegal activities online. Online e-commerce websites might become easy and anonymous options for counterfeiters to reach out to potential customers as well as popular social media platforms. A recent study reported that 20% of 750,000 posts on the popular social media platform Instagram alone in relation to well-known fashion brands involved the offer of counterfeit products for sales, with many of the vendors identified to be based in China, Malaysia and Indonesia among others[2]. Continue reading “How to Remove Counterfeit Goods from E-Commerce Sites in South-East Asia” »

General Office of Communist Party of China and State Council issued Opinion regarding Reform and Innovation for Trial of Intellectual Property Cases

RegisteredToday’s blog post has been kindly shared with us by our China IPR SME Helpdesk external expert Mr. Charles Feng from East & Concord Partners. In this article, Mr. Feng interprets and explains the recent “Opinion regarding Improvement of Reform and Innovation for Intellectual Property related Trials” jointly issued by the General Office of Chinese Communist Party and the State Council.

On February 6, 2018, General Office of Chinese Communist Party and State Council jointly issued the official document namely “Opinion regarding Improvement of Reform and Innovation for Intellectual Property related Trials” (the “Opinion”). Vice President of Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”), Judge Tao, made interpretation to the IP Opinion during the press conference and was interviewed following the issuance on February 27.

The IP Opinion consisting of four parts includes the General Requirement, Perfection of IP Trial System, Enhancement of IP Court System, and Improvement of Arrangement and Coordination, which were specified as follows.

I General Requirement

The Opinion positioned the IP protection issue as the basic measure for encouragement and guarantee to innovation and creation that builds the foundation to the National Strategy to establish a Nation that is strong in IP as well as science and technology.

Comments by Charles Feng

The Opinion was the first strategic document issued by CPC and State Council, the top administrative body of China, which declared the IP protection as the major approach to protect innovation and development.  Continue reading “General Office of Communist Party of China and State Council issued Opinion regarding Reform and Innovation for Trial of Intellectual Property Cases” »

Protecting R&D Innovations in the Philippines

Mech Eng 2In today’s blog post we are discussing how to protect your IP in the Philippines while conducting R&D activities. You’ll learn more about Non-Disclosure contracts and patents and how to protect your new IP that is being created in the Philippines. 

Many European SMEs may not consider that they conduct any research and development (R&D) in the Philippines because they do not have a laboratory or research facility there, but in reality, a high proportion of these companies engage in activities which fall under at least one of the terms: research or development.

Some examples of R&D might include an SME that enters into a contract with a local company to use their engineers to develop a prototype into a commercial product or application; or an SME that works with local researchers in a Philippine university to design a digital database that is to be accessible via the Internet to users in Europe.

Even though the Philippines has its problems with R&D, as according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, published by the World Economic Forum, it ranked 83rd out of 138 countries in terms of technological readiness[1], the Philippines’ government is committed to making the country an ‘active player’ in the global knowledge economy[2]. This means that European SMEs can have promising business opportunities in the Philippines’ R&D sector as their know-how will be highly sought after.

IP is a critical consideration for European SMEs that come to the Philippines wishing to tap into this increasingly high-tech production network, or the talent pool for technology development. When engaging in R&D in the Philippines, new intellectual property is being created, the rights to which need to be clearly defined from the outset to avoid disagreements later. Continue reading “Protecting R&D Innovations in the Philippines” »