IP, or Intellectual Property, refers to the inventions and creations of a business. It encompasses patents, copyrights and trademarks. In the early stages of your business operations in China, you need to be proactive with the safety and security of your intellectual property. Although China is the finest place for product manufacturing and sourcing, this country is infamous for its copycat culture.
Chinese have taken the art of IP infringement to a new level and given the recent US-China trade escalation, foreign companies need to take a more cautious approach in reducing their IP threat in China. The failure to seek IP protection may put your business at a competitive disadvantage and could reduce your company’s valuation. The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce copyrighted work. These works include original literary works, computer programs, musical works and audiovisual works.
The sector of product innovation is changing at an astonishing pace. No wonder, a business organization’s capability to derive maximum value from IP rests on the following factors-
- IP awareness throughout the entire company
- Cross-functional collaboration
- Involvement of the top management
- A comprehensive and value-driven IP strategy
- Collaboration with the expert China trademark and IP attorneys
According to an article in Forbes, “ In the case of China, where the intellectual property protection system is still evolving, MNCs have limited opportunity to influence the government to strengthen the appropriability regime through changes to the law or more stringent enforcement. One example of a successful approach was Microsoft’s persuading the Chinese government to install authentic Windows software on government-purchased computers.”
In the opinion of the expert China IP lawyers, US and European companies need to make IP protection an important responsibility not only to merely the legal protection team but also a prime concern to every employee and top-level management. Overseas companies with a business operations in China need to adjust internal information flows and reporting structures to reflect those responsibilities.
Where is IP registered in China?
Trademarks & Patents–
The China National Intellectual Property Administration, PRC (CNIPA) administers the registration of trademarks as well as the grant of patents.
Copyright registration is overseen by the Copyright Protection Center of China (CPCC), which falls under the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC).
Globalization has made it critically important for small businesses to pursue and protect their IP rights, both domestically and abroad. Securing proper protection of IP is essential to businesses of all sizes. Do keep in mind that big companies such as Samsung, Apple and Nike have had their ideas infringed upon and have made multi-million dollar lawsuits in China. An unregistered design in China is at risk of having no protection. Whether you are trying to enter into Chinese market or already having business operations over here, it is advised that you should give top-priority to secure your IP rights in China as early as possible.