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Real life examples on IP practices.

Use these case studies to learn about best practices from SMEs that have had to deal with IP in China

Online protection of geographical indications : case study

Online protection of geographical indications : case study

On the 1st of March 2021, the EU-China Agreement on Geographical Indications (GIs) entered into force. The Agreement protects around 200 European and Chinese GIs against imitation and duplication, bringing mutual trade benefits and introducing consumers to high-quality, authentic products from the...
Software protection with graphical user interface

Software protection with graphical user interface

A German SME focusing on medical equipment sterilisation services recently upgraded one of their core products. The SME produces both the sterilisation devices and the software used to manage the devices. The company improved the software by designing a new user interface for the devices which...
Invention patent and utility model protection

Invention patent and utility model protection

Different types of intellectual property rights (IPR) give different scope of protection. For example, trade marks protect the distinctiveness of a sign that allows consumers to distinguish one product from any other, while copyright only protects the expression of ideas. These rights can and should...
Importance of pre-filing trade mark search

Importance of pre-filing trade mark search

A Croatian charcuterie exporter decided to revise its China market strategy since the SME’s business in China was not doing so well. Some years ago, the company had been working with a Chinese distributor, however, due to low sales volume, lukewarm consumer interest and constant disagreements with...
TradeSecretManagement

Trade Secret Management

A French SME active in the water sector recently developed a new device for filtering water. The product was very competitive because it could easily be adapted to the particular requests of future clients. The SME patented their main technologies in the main target markets, including China, and...
AppProtection

App Protection in China

Encouraged by the sudden boom in the online education market due to Covid-19 pandemic, a small language institute in Belgium saw a great business opportunity to expand and even to internationalise its online language education. The main challenge for the SME was the fact that they were not present...
Protecting IP in Multiple Jurisdictions

Protecting IP in Multiple Jurisdictions

A Dutch start-up InMotion VR, providing virtual reality solutions in the field of physical therapy, recently managed to secure a new important client in Hong Kong. The new client would not only become one of the biggest clients for the company, but would also be the company’s first Asia-based client...
Customs recordals

Customs recordals

An established German electronics company had been manufacturing their product in China for years. They had signed a strong contract with the Chinese factory manufacturing their goods, however as they did not sell domestically within China, they had not registered their trademarks in China. Recently...
InnovativeDesign

How to protect functional innovative designs

An Austrian SME engaged in the logistics sector created a device that would enable workers to carry more weight while protecting their health, mainly the back from injuries. The device has an innovative design, which distributes and absorbs the weight keeping the workers’ physical efforts to the...
TMsquatting

Trade Mark Squatting

A Portuguese SME had never had any actual business in China, nor had they yet interacted directly with any Chinese supplier, distributor or client. Furthermore, their brand was also little known outside of Portugal. However, as China was amongst the SME’s mid-term target markets, they realised that...
Patent or Trade Secret

Choosing between a patent or trade secret

An Italia auto-parts company had a new component which they thought would be particularly popular in the Chinese market. They were determining whether to keep the technology as an invention patent or a trade secret.
Action against counterfeits

Action against Counterfeits

Secto Design, a Finnish SME didn’t plan to market its product in China, the SME initially didn’t register its intellectual property rights in China. Yet, at a certain point it found that over 90% of the products infringing their IP rights originated from China. Most of the infringing goods were...
Always be well prepared

Always be well prepared!

Belgian SME BEA manufactures sensors for automatic doors. Before they wereactive in China they had the foresight to file for an international patent that included the PRC as a designated state. Christian Nowak, Science & Technology advisor at BEA, shares the company’s experiences with patent...
Pay attention to subclasses

Pay Attention to Subclasses!

An Austrian SME active in the fashion and design industry decided to internationalise its business to China. The SME specialized in making theatrical costumes for artistic companies and theatres and found China’s vast market particularly promising for its products. After initial market research, the...
Trade Secrets are Key

Trade Secrets are Key

The Dutch SME Wuvio is a market leader in producing chemicals to combat dust for construction sites, energy producers, mining and dry bulk companies. Wuvio works with unique solutions, which require a structured approach to intellectual property (IP). Rob te Braake, Wuvio representative in China...
Patents

Patents

Every European company owning patents and doing business with China is strongly advised to make active use of the Chinese patent system. Treat your patent applications as one of the most valuable assets of your business in China.
Start with your trade mark

Start with your Trade Mark

Founder and owner of German SME Natooke Ines Brunn wanted to promote biking in China and decided to set up a shop selling cool and colorful bikes. Natooke was the first store in China to build bespoke fixed gear bikes using bike parts from around the world, and aims to make biking hip and modern...
Attending Trade Fairs

Attending Trade Fairs

A Spanish SME produces agriculture and farming equipment including tractors. In the coming weeks, the most important agro-industry trade fair in Asia would take place in Beijing. Companies from all over the world would attend the fair to showcase their products, including the new harvesting and...
Registration Key to Success

Registration is the key to success

Lauterbach Development Solutions was founded in 1979 in Munich. Since then the company has developed into the largest manufacturer of microprocessor development tools and installed over 80.000 debuggers worldwide. The company has a manufacturing plant in Suzhou and encountered infringement of their...
Fighting Online Infringements

Fighting Online Infringements

Vogmask is the leading anti-pollution mask available in China - using a revolutionary microfiber filtration fabric. Christopher Dobbing founded Vogmask China in 2013. Originally an education consultant, Christopher found that most students he worked with mentioned air pollution as major challenge...
Apparel - Manufacturing and Sales

Apparel - Manufacturing and Sales

A British SME with a registered trade mark in China found several counterfeits of its products on a popular e-commerce platform. Before starting a take-down action, the Helpdesk recommended to proceed with a search for basic information from the Chinese company infringing their rights. The Chinese...
Counterfeiting Mechanical Products

Counterfeiting of Mechanical Products

EngCo’ is a UK-based engineering company and a world leader in various types of mechanical products. The products are supplied internationally to customers in the power and refinery industries for use in high-integrity applications. The products undergo rigorous testing and certification since any...
Licensing Infringement

Licensing Infringement

After several weeks of negotiation, a European artist authorised a Chinese publishing company to commission a book of paintings and art work. By way of an editing contract, a reproduction licensing right was granted to the editor. The editor failed his responsibilities under the agreement and did...
Cosmetics Distribution

Cosmetics Distribution

An Italian manufacturer of skin products contacts the Helpdesk. The trade mark registration of his products was rejected by the Chinese Trade Mark Bureau as there was a similar registration. The company asked if there is anything they can do.
Market Entry - Software Registration

Market Entry - Software Registration

A French programmer contacts the Helpdesk. Their app has been copied by a Chinese company. The French programmer asked if there is anything they could do. The Helpdesk asked if there was any way of proving the date of creation of this app. The French programmer said that they had emailed the source...
Trade Mark Certificate

Trade Mark Certificate

English Trackers provides English editing and proofreading services to companies worldwide. Bridget Rooth set up the company in 2008 andher vision was to build a strong brand that she would be able to sell one day. Bridget shares another reason for registering a trade mark inChina – besides...
IP scams

Don't fall victim to IP scams

A Swedish SME received an urgent email from a Chinese law firm regarding registration of their product series name in China. The SME had already registered their company name in the classes relevant to their business, but had failed to register their product name, and so were very concerned that...
Additional layer of protection

Additional Layer of Protection with Copyright Registration

A Hungarian rosé winemaker decided to internationalise his business and enter China’s market. Over the past seven years his small family business had grown, so the SME now enjoyed a solid presence at various European markets and entering China seemed like a logical next step and an attractive market...
F&B Counterfeits

F&B Counterfeits

An Italian tourist stumbled upon a large flagship store of his favourite Italian F&B brand X when visiting Beijing. He took many pictures and once back in Italy, he congratulated a friend of his who was an employee of the company X. That’s how X learned about the unauthorised establishment of a...