IPR and China – How companies can best be protected. Protecting Innovation Securing Global Competitiveness. SMEs. The Helpdesk Initiative. Opportunities Challenges Eg : EUCCC; VDMA. China. Business Associations European Parliament. Assistance. The Helpdesk Initiative.
– How companies can
best be protected
The Helpdesk Initiative
Trade between Greece & China = US$3.5 billion in 2008
Exports from Greece to China over US$150 million
As of November 2008, China is Greece’s 30th export market & ranked 3rd for imports
Mechanical and electrical products - $955 mln
Transportation equipment – $608 mln
Furniture, toy, miscellaneous products - $427 mln
Textile and raw materials - $424 mln
Base metal and products – $353 mln
Shoes & boots, umbrella and other light industry products - $209 mln
Plastics, rubber - $127 mln
Pottery, glasses - $123 mln
Leather products, boxes and bags – $116 mln
Chemical products - $84 mln
Wood and wooden products - $55 mln
Optics, clocks, medical devices - $54 mln
Cellulose pulp, paper - $51 mln
Plants - $25 mln
Artwork - $22 mln
Examples of 2008 Imports to Greece from China:
To protect your products & ideas
To protect & harness your brands & reputation
To justify research & development costs
To make sure new rights belong to you
To prevent other companies from utilizing your inventions & designs
To keep your competitors at a distance
To create market space for future development
To create a strong defence in case of conflicts / infringement
To record unique technology & designs for investors
To create a platform for licensing- & co-operation agreements;
To create a qualified knowledge base for decisions about registering rights internationally.
Systems & procedures
How can you minimise the risks?
- treat it like your house, bank account, wallet…
Issues before you start doing business with China
- know before you go
While you are there –
- Dealing with 3rd parties
- Trade fairs
Issues before you start doing business with China:
Is it registered?
What countries are covered?
What about Chinese versions?
Who are you dealing with?
How do you know if they are reliable?
China is a “first-to-file” country when it comes to IPR registrations.
- Key issue for many EU Businesses – case study
China, Hong Kong and Taiwan use separate legal systems, i.e. there is a need to file in both.
For trademarks: register broadly in many classes, Chinese versions of your TM should be registered
While you are there:
Contracts/NDAs/confidentiality – notarise agreements
Are they likely to develop your product – what about IPR?
Does your supplier/manufacturer have control of brand labels/moulds/production equipment/proprietary information?
Assess risks – who else does supplier work for; is there a conflict?
Consider how you want the relationship to work and what controls you need to put in place to secure your rights
Conditions should be put into a written agreement and accurately translated and understood by all parties
Take steps to verify that your potential business partner are genuine and share the same goals as you
If possible, consider keeping your most valuable IP a ‘trade secret’, for example, the formula for Coca-cola.
Business partners and IPR protection
Consider what samples and promotional materials you provide to potential partners
Ensure that your property is protected after an agreement has ended e.g. include the return of moulds within the written agreement
Clearly state what Intellectual Property Rights are owned by whom in respect any items you supplied
Use confidentiality, non-competition and non-disclosure agreements
Specifically state that your supplier may NOT use a sub-supplier without your permission
Business partners and IPR protection
Register rights – if you don’t own it you can’t protect it
You need to be the first to file IPR in China
Use good contracts
Prevention better than cure
Next – Ways to deal with Infringement/Counterfeiting…