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Manage your Intellectual Property in Mainland China, HongKong, Macao and Taiwan

How long does it take to resolve a customs related IP dispute case? How much will it cost?

If your intellectual property rights are registered with Customs, they may initially detain the goods for 3 working days to allow you to respond to the Customs notification. If you have responded to the notification of detention confirming that the goods in question should be detained, and agreeing to deposit the requisite bond, Customs must initiate and conclude an investigation into the attempted export in question within 30 days. Within those 30 days Customs will issue an administrative decision confirming whether the goods are infringing, non-infringing or that it cannot make a determination (because it may be beyond Customs’ technical competence to make a formal decision on infringement – this can often be the case where the intellectual property rights concerned are technical rights, like invention patents). If it cannot make a determination, you will have to apply to the appropriate People’s Court for a ruling of infringement and/or property preservation. If you fail to make such an application (within 50 working days of the date of detention) Customs will be required to release the goods.

Customs can take longer than 30 days to conclude its investigation, so in practice it may take 6 months to a year from the date of detention to the point when an administrative (punishment) decision is issued by the Customs authority.