Protecting your IP while Transferring Technology to China

Manufacture4Since China’s market for clean technologies offers significant business opportunities for the European SMEs, then in this week, the EU Gateway Business Avenues took selected European companies to Beijing, China for a business mission in Clean Technologies. Many of these companies are considering bringing their technology to China, which however,  involves many IP risks. Therefore, in today’s blog post, we have chosen to discuss IP issues relating to technology transfer. The blog post offers some tips on how to safely bring your technology to China. 

Many European Companies are keen to come to China. While in the past, European companies came to China to take advantage of low-cost manufacturing for export, more recently, they have come to enter the Chinese domestic market, establish R&D, engage in cooperative development, take advantage of a skilled work force, establish suppliers, and develop long-term partnerships in China. In order to achieve this, they are often willing to ‘transfer’ their key technology and designs to Chinese subsidiaries of European firms, joint-venture (JV) partners, or Chinese manufacturing and service companies. One of the challenges facing European companies coming to China is devising creative solutions to minimize the risk to their intellectual property (IP) associated with such technology transfers.

A technology transfer happens in a number of different ways. European companies most commonly transfer their technology by licensing their patents, designs, software, trade secrets, and know-how. Ownership of the technology may be transferred, but this type of transfer is less common. A common misconception is that a technology transfer is limited to transfers of high technology. However, many European companies using contract manufacturing to manufacture low technology, consumer, or industrial products, for example based on product designs, must deal with many of the same risks to their IP as their high technology counterparts. Continue reading “Protecting your IP while Transferring Technology to China” »

Using Contracts to Protect your IP in South-East Asia: Licensing and Technology Transfer Agreements

Page 1. ContractsMany companies wishing to do business in  South-East Asia choose to license their IP to third parties in order to be able to expand their business ever more rapidly and conveniently. Well-drafted licensing and technology transfer agreements are the key to a successful business endeavor in South-East Asia and thus, we have chosen to discuss the art of drafting these contracts in today’s blog post. This blog post will provide you with some useful tips and watch-outs to keep in mind when drafting contracts with your partners in South-East Asia. 

IP can create value and revenue to the European SMEs through IP commercialization via licensing the IP to third parties. A company that owns rights in a patent,  but cannot or does not want to be involved in the manufacturing of products, can benefit from licensing their IP assets to third parties who have better manufacturing capacity, wider distribution outlets or greater local knowledge. Furthermore, licensing trade marks can allow companies to expand their operations into new markets faster and more effectively as the companies can benefit from the wider distribution networks and contacts that the licensees have.

The people and companies that SMEs do business with, and therefore contract with, will often use the European SMEs IP to varying degrees. Therefore, it is also very important for the European SMEs to protect their IP well-written licensing and technology transfer contracts. In this article we will take a look at licensing and technology transfer agreements. Continue reading “Using Contracts to Protect your IP in South-East Asia: Licensing and Technology Transfer Agreements” »

Protecting your IP whilst Transferring Technology to South-East Asia

xiandaishangwu2_221In today’s blog post, the Helpdesk team will provide you some valuable tips on how to safely transfer your technology to South-East Asian countries.

In recent years, European SMEs have started to look to the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to be a key player in the investment and development of several different types of technologies across a multitude of industries. Relatively low labor costs, high skill levels and diversity in the level of development across the region, enabling South-East Asia to attract a range of technologies, are making the region so attractive for the European SMEs.

Whilst accessing the lucrative South-East Asian markets, the European SMEs are often willing to ‘transfer’ some of their technologies and designs to local subsidiaries of European firms, joint-venture partners, or local manufacturing and service companies. One of the challenges facing European companies coming to South-East Asia is devising creative solutions to minimize the risk to their intellectual property associated with technology transfers. A technology transfer can happen in a number of different ways. European companies most commonly transfer their technology by licensing their patents, designs, software, trade secrets, and know-how.  A common misconception is that a technology transfer is limited to transfers of high technology. However, many European companies using contract manufacturing to manufacture low technology, consumer, or industrial products, such as those based on product designs, must deal with the same risks to their IP as their high technology counterparts. Continue reading “Protecting your IP whilst Transferring Technology to South-East Asia” »

Industry Spotlight: IPR Strategies in China for Cleantech Industry

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MC900437625China is the fastest growing market for wind and nuclear power generation, and is investing heavily in exploring alternative, renewable means of addressing its immense energy needs. With a large potential cleantech market, and strong government support for the development and adoption of new clean technologies, China presents great opportunities for European cleantech SMEs.

China’s large market potential means that cleantech businesses cannot risk losing a strategic foothold in China by waiting to act. However, cleantech businesses that enter China need to understand that while good execution, effective management, and access to financing is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage, protecting good technology is also equally critical. Although technology transfer can be structured in a way that minimises IP risk, additional preparation and measures directed at the IP environment in China need to be considered as well.

How IP fits into an overall business strategy will depend on whether the firm is a start-up or a growth business, and also whether the technology itself is new and untested in the market, or mature and ‘off-patent’ (technology that is no longer protected by patent). Different businesses will use IP to achieve different objectives, such as to maximise revenue-generation by monetising their IP portfolio through licensing, increase opportunities for partnerships and cross-licensing, or bar new market entrants. Continue reading “Industry Spotlight: IPR Strategies in China for Cleantech Industry” »

Recommended reading: EU-China Collaboration – Sustaining Technology and Research

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A piece of recommended reading this week for European technology companies considering R&D in China….

Continue reading “Recommended reading: EU-China Collaboration – Sustaining Technology and Research” »