December 7, 2018

How can Startups Protect their Intellectual Property in China?

How can Startups Protect their Intellectual Property in China

China Classifieds together with HFL explore the topic of how to protect intellectual property for startups
WeWork Labs, Shanghai, China

On Dec. 5, 2018, HongFang Law jointly organized an event with China Classifieds, focusing on the protection of intellectual property rights for Startups, and also the recent developments of IP Law protection in China as well as online monitoring and enforcement, along with how to monetize one’s own IP portfolio in China.

The event was hosted at the WeWork Labs location in Nanjing road in Shanghai and welcomed several professionals coming from different business sectors in exploring the on-going changes that are affecting the Chinese market in the last years. In details, we focused our attention on the acquisition of rights in China and the protection of such rights both online and offline.

With this opportunity at hand, HFL decided to highlight the recent developments of the IPR system in China, to explain how it can provide better protection for our goods and services and a safeguard for the future of the production of them in the country.

We had 3 speakers involved from our team, whom each focused on a separate topic.

Karen Hao took the stand and introduced to the attendees’ the clear definition of what IP law is and what it can protect, she explored the landscape of trademarks, patents, and copyrights systems and how they are the product of a company uniqueness. She then focused on the importance of IP protection for the future and for the establishment of a successful company, as well as the new developments on the Chinese IP system, such as the 2017 Unfair-competition law amendment (effective on 1 Jan 2018) and the Trademark Office calling this March for public comments for the future amendment of the Trademark Law.

Karen was closely followed by our colleague Cathy He, she decided to switch the conversation focus towards online monitoring and enforcement of a company IP portfolio. Once your IP is protected, we believe that a company has to actively be aware of the market share it is a part of. Several squatters and counterfeiters try to succeed by creating fake and misleading stores online, such things are naturally not appreciated by both the police authorities and the government.

For this reason, Alibaba and several other platforms have moved to secure the right older positions on the market, by instituting online IPR protection platforms, which are extremely successful in cracking down counterfeiters.

Cathy has then focused on the best practices to take in order to protect one’s IP rights both online and offline.

After the presentation was completed a panel took place, where both Karen and Cathy took the stand, together with our team Business Development and Marketing expert Federico Bartolini. The team replied to several questions from the audience, in relation to how their specific trademarks or patents could be protected, as well as how they could monetize their IP portfolio in the Chinese market. There was a clear interest in the prices of such registrations, which we agreed, in the end, were quite fair, and the length of a court proceeding as well as their success rate.

The IP practice and regulations in China have come a long way since their first institution, and are now one of the most successful around the globe, still, misconceptions are prevalent outside of China, and many foreign businesses are wary of the market. We at HFL firmly believe that even if there is always room for improvement, the current IP regulations are strong and stable enough to protect all companies that seek safeguard of their IP portfolio.

There is no reason for concern, as China is a country of consumers always interested in trying new experiences and high-quality products, and the legal system protects both consumers and producers of goods, as best as possible.

In conclusion, we would like to thank once again our partners at China Classifieds and WeWork Labs for their support in the organization of the event, and their continuous effort to educate and support new companies and startups in the Chinese market. China landscape is one of high competitivity and we firmly believe that any new company that wishes to succeed here, needs to be relevant, be innovative but most importantly be protected.

If you would like to know more about the event and receive additional insights on the IPR system in China, please get in touch with our team.

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