IPR Protection Strategies in China for the Mechanical Engineering Sector

Manufacture5Underpinned by the Chinese Government’s ambitious Manufacturing 2015 Plan, mechanical engineering sector is expected to offer many lucrative business opportunities in China for the European SMEs in the near future. SMEs wishing to do business in China should keep in mind that despite recent improvements in Chinese IP laws, counterfeiting and other IP infringements are still commonplace in China. Thus, European SMEs need to have a good IP protection strategy in place when entering China’s market. In today’s blog post we are taking a look at IP issues specific to the mechanical engineering sector and offer some first-hand advice on how you can protect your IP in China. 

China’s economic success has been built on manufacturing on a massive scale and despite the economic slow-down, manufacturing is still growing. For example, in the five years to 2015, electrical equipment and machinery manufacturing revenue has been increasing 10.1% annually to EUR 7.8 billion[1].

This has made China’s demand for machinery, tools and related technologies insatiable, making it a potential marketplace for Europe’s high quality products and innovative technologies.

Mechanical engineering sector is expected to see increased growth and opportunities for the European SMEs in the coming years as Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has recently unveiled its Manufacturing 2025 Plan, which aims at lifting china from the ‘big industrial country’ to the ‘powerful industrial country’. Manufacturing 2025 Plan aims at upgrading China’s manufacturing industry by making greater use of technologies like cloud computing. Manufacturing 2025 Plan is especially beneficial for the mechanical engineering sector as the government has chosen many relative industries like automated machine tools and robotics, aerospace and aeronautical equipment, new-energy and power equipment and agricultural equipment as some of the leading industries for the Plan.  These are also the areas, where European SMEs can expect most opportunities.

Unfortunately, IP infringements are still rampant in China. However, as China’s market develops, legislators and enforcement authorities have made progress in updating IPR practices and educating Chinese manufacturers. As a result, patent applications have rocketed and new IP registration procedures and IPR courts have made application and enforcement of IP rights more accessible for foreign actors. Furthermore, the Manufacturing 2025 Plan is expected to further improve the IPR environment.   Continue reading “IPR Protection Strategies in China for the Mechanical Engineering Sector” »

Patent Protection Case Study: The Importance of a Robust IP Enforcement Strategy

shutterstock_166598477_blueEnforcing your patent rights in China could oftentimes be challenging as counterfeiters are also getting smarter and more innovative over time. However, if a European SME has a good IP enforcement strategy in place, it is possible to successfully defend your business against patent infringers. In today’s blog post we are taking a look at a case study involving a Spanish SMEs that experienced some issues with patent infringements. This case study shows the importance of a good IP enforcement strategy for the business success.

Case Background 

A Spanish SME in the scientific research and development industry has patents around the world and in China on certain cutting edge surgical instruments. At an international exposition of surgical instruments the Spanish Company discovers a Chinese company advertising their patented products under the name of the Chinese company. The Spanish company obtains flyers and photos of the products. However, the Spanish company is also concerned that the Chinese company might have defensive utility model patents in place. Since, utility model patents are approved quickly (usually within one year) and do require official examination on novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability, this could potentially bar the Spanish company from entering the Chinese market. Continue reading “Patent Protection Case Study: The Importance of a Robust IP Enforcement Strategy” »

Infographic: Protecting IP in the Green Tech Sector in China

European SMEs will have numerous opportunities in the green tech sector around the world as the Paris Agreement enters into force. However, SMEs should pay special attention to protecting their IP rights when entering to the lucrative market of China because counterfeiting and other IP infringements still persist in China. For today’s blog post we have chosen to share with you an infographic that will provide you with a basic and easy to read  overview of IP protection in the green tech sector in China.  

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Protection of IPR in the Automotive Industry in China

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LandWindYour IP in the Chinese Automotive Industry

The automotive industry in China has seen rapid expansion over the last decade; the automotive parts market alone was worth RMB 1.5 trillion (€179 billion) in 2010 and the increasing volume of vehicle sales in the country predicts that the trend is set to continue. There are clear opportunities for European businesses to profit from this booming market but precautionary steps must be taken to meet the challenges that China poses.

When  it  comes  to  Intellectual  Property  (IP)  protection,  international  small  to  medium-sized businesses that invest in the local automotive industry should be aware of the IP risks that they run when operating in China, and the main tools at their disposal to protect against those risks.

Currently, the most important factors that allow international automotive businesses to operate in Chinese Tier 1 and Tier 2 markets, are their established contacts with global car manufacturers (the Original Equipment Manufacturers, or OEMs who produce parts or components for sale to other manufacturers to market under their own brand name – for more information you can watch the China  IPR  SME  Helpdesk   webinar  on  OEM  in  China),  their  technological  capabilities,  and  their reputation for quality. This gives them an edge over many Chinese competitors that are relatively new and lack the regimented processes that are required to guarantee a high level of quality. Therefore  IP  –  in  particular  with  regards  to  new  technologies  and  the  ability  to  protect  this technology from Chinese competitors – will be a key factor in the battle for market share. Continue reading “Protection of IPR in the Automotive Industry in China” »

South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Patent Law in Thailand

Mech Eng 2Patents grant rights holders exclusive rights to exploit an invention or process and prevent others from benefiting from this novel idea for a limited period of time (usually around 20 years).

Thailand has a comprehensive framework of legal protection for patents, which are split into two categories; invention patents, and utility model patents. This article explores the laws in place in Thailand protecting these rights, as well as the procedures required for registration, and the options available to rights holders in the event of infringement on Thai soil.

If you’d like even more information on how to protect and enforce your patents in Thailand, read our guides, or get in touch with our Helpdesk experts for free, in-depth advice, tailored to your needs.

Continue reading “South-East Asia IPR Basics Series: Patent Law in Thailand” »