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

SME

14/07/2016, Summer School on IP, Bonn, Germany, 27 July 2016 - 5 August 2016

The University of Bonn invites graduate and postgraduate students as well as young professionals from any field of study or discipline to a Summer School on Intellectual Property in Bonn. 

The Summer School on Intellectual Property will take place from July 25 to August 5, 2016.  

The program offers:

  • classes that cover the main areas of Intellectual Property
  • guest lectures on selected Intellectual Property issues 
  • excursions (for example to innovative institutions and companies)

The Summer School is open to 30 participants. The program is conducted in English. 

The classes and guest lectures will take place in the main building of the University of Bonn. 

The Summer School introduces students to the main areas of Intellectual Property and examines important Intellectual Property issues. The students will be able to discuss Intellectual Property issues with professionals from Intellectual Property organizations, innovative companies, research facilities, law offices, and the University of Bonn.  

The Summer School aims to provide graduate and postgraduate students as well as young professionals with insight into the field of Intellectual Property and an appreciation of the significant role of Intellectual Property in furthering the economic and technological development, and particularly in promoting innovation.

26/10/2015 - Don't miss our upcoming event, Protecting IP at Trade Fairs, 4 November 2015, Guangzhou

Don't miss out on our upcoming free of charge training event, taking place on 4 November 2015, in Guangzhou. Attending trade fairs in China is an excellent opportunity for showcasing your product and find potential business partners, but it also poses some risk in terms of intellectual property protection and enforcement. Learn from China IPR SME Helpdesk Expert, Reinout van Malenstein about an effective trade fair strategy and practical tips of IP management. Click here for further details and registration.

Always be well prepared

Belgian SME BEA manufactures sensors for automatic doors. Before they were active 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 infringement, and how enforcement can be successful if you have your documents and protection in place.

BEA (short for Bureau d’Electronique Appliqué) was founded in Belgium in 1965 and currently has five offices worldwide. Christian Nowak says: “We set up a representative office in China in 1996 to analyse the market and to find potential future customers. We were quite sure that the market was appealing for us, [and] the risk of getting copied was not strong enough for us to give up the potential”.

The company then prepared well by including China in the designated states for patent protection, even though they were not active in the country yet. Christian says: “We applied from Belgium for patents in the United States and included China as well. We have design patents, invention patents and a trade mark registered in China. It’s a very simple design patent which helped us during our case in 2002.”

Christian continues to explain the case: “We received two sensors in the after sales service that were not manufactured by BEA. One of our customers noticed that there were copies on the market and could tell us who was behind it.” BEA then sought advice from a Chinese patent attorney and chose to take administrative action via the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC). “I prepared a file with all details, pictures of the original products and the copies, and all our patent registration certificates”, Christian adds.

They went to the SAIC in the city where the infringement took place and the manager in charge dispatched two officers to raid the premises of the infringing company. Christian says: “After searching for 45 minutes at the warehouse I could find one sample of a fake product. We had the company sign a statement of their wrongdoing after which the case was closed.”

Christian recommends other SMEs to act early: “Because we were quite early on this case it couldn’t spread throughout China. As SMEs are not always aware of IP issues, it is good to have a support service like the Helpdesk to give them all information”.

 

Lessons learnt:

  • Get ahead of potential infringers and register your IP in China, preferably before entering the market.
  • Keep your IP registration documents and proof of infringement at hand so you can immediately prove your case if needed.
  • Don’t be afraid to enforce your rights, China’s IP legislative system is developed and the authorities can assist you.

For more information, please see:

 

The value of a Chinese trade mark

English Trackers provides English editing and proofreading services to companies worldwide. Bridget Rooth set up the company in 2008 and her 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 in China – besides adequately protecting your brand.

“I think IPR is very complicated for small companies entering China because they don’t have big legal teams in-house”, Bridget says. “I had the advantage of having been exposed to business in China – and particularly IPR – while working my first four years in China for a foreign law firm. As soon as I had my business license I started the procedure to register my trade mark.”

Another issue Bridget mentions that small companies face in China, is working on a small budget. She says: “Having a miniscule budget meant I did the job myself. I found a local trade mark agent via a Chinese friend, the costs of registration in one class were ¥ 2,000 (± € 240).

Bridget mentions that the reason to register her trade mark was to enforce her rights in case of infringement, but so far no illegal copies of her brand have sprung up. However she recently encountered another use for having her trade mark registered. “If you want to verify your Sina Weibo account (Chinese equivalent of Twitter), which is definitely worth doing if you want to grow your fan base, you’ll want to use your logo in place of a photo on your account. To do that, you need to prove you own the brand.”

“Go register your brand!” says Bridget. She also advises SMEs to use all resources available when establishing themselves in the Chinese market. “Use Chambers of Commerce and services like the Helpdesk to assist you.”

 

Lessons learnt:

  • Register your trade mark as soon as you register your company in China.
  • Realise that your trade mark doesn’t just protect your brand name or logo, proving that you own the brand can be required for other business purposes as well.

For more information, please see:

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 again. As a hip brand requires adequate trade mark protection, Ines shares her experiences in registering the trade mark and how this registration benefitted her business.

 “When I started my business I had never thought about registering my IP. I had a bit of a misconception that only big companies can register IP”, Ines says. “When a friend suggested that that I should register my shop name and the brand names of products that we sell, I contacted the China IPR SME Helpdesk for advice.”

The Helpdesk provided first line advice on different ways to register the trade mark, and Ines decided to register through the international system. When she had to transfer the trade mark to her own name a few months later, Ines contacted the Helpdesk again. “They gave me a lot of information, the process is not difficult once you know how it should be done”, Ines says.

“When I registered my trade mark it was just to protect my logo, but over time people approached me that wanted to open a franchise shop”, she continues. “At the moment we have a franchise shop in Chengdu, and I am very happy that I decided to register the Natooke trade mark, because using the franchising system to monetise my brand wouldn’t have been possible if the trade mark hadn’t been registered”.

What recommendations would Ines give other SMEs, based on her own experiences? “If you have your IP registered you do not only protect your brand, but you can do franchising agreements and generate business from it. I recommend other companies to immediately think about IP and have it registered.”

 

Lessons learnt:

  • Register your trade mark, in your own name, as soon as you register your company in China
  • Realise that your trade mark doesn’t just protect your brand name or logo, it can be used to monetise your brand as well.

For more information, please see:

11/06/2015 - Participate in the fifth SME Conference in Beijing the 30th of June !

European Chamber SME Conference 2015: Inside Affairs, Beijing, 30 June 2015

The China IPR SME Helpdesk is partnering with the European Chamber and the EU SME Centre for the fifth SME Conference in Beijing on 30th June. This half-day conference will employ a hands-on approach, focusing on two of the biggest issues that European SMEs face when doing business in China: finance and human resources. European SMEs can attend this event free of charge. For more information, please click here.

 

01/06/2015 - Meet the Helpdesk expert at China-Central and Eastern European Countries Investment and Trade Expo, Ningbo, 8-12 June 2015

China-Central and Eastern European Countries Investment and Trade Expo, Ningbo 8-12 June 2015

The Helpdesk IP Expert Reinout Van Malenstein will attend the China-Central Eastern European Countries Investment and Trade Expo, the first comprehensive exposition themed with investment and trade between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, to provide on the ground support for European SMEs exhibiting at the fair. Reinout will be on hand to provide IPR consulations on both enforcement actions during the fair and general China IPR strategy. European SMEs can pre-book a consultation session in advance at a convenient time by emailing. For more information, please click here.

27/05/2015 - Meet the European Commission for a Mission for Growth in Taiwan! Taipei, 3-5 June 2015

Mission for Growth Taiwan, Taipei 3-5 June 2015

The China IPR SME Helpdesk is partnering with the European Commission, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs for a Mission for Growth in Taiwan. The Director-General Daniel Calleja will lead the Mission and will be accompanied by a delegation of representatives of business associations and entrepreneurs to discuss with Taiwanese entrepreneurs how to foster industrial cooperation and identify business opportunities.The aim of the visit is to help EU companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to operate internationally by exploiting business opportunities in Taiwan. SMEs will have the opportunity to participate in matchmaking events with local entrepreneurs. For more information, please click here.

29 April 2015 – Entering China’s F&B market for EU SMEs

The food and beverage (F&B) sector is moving fast in China now, as consumers look for new trustworthy brands this presents huge opportunities for foreign businesses, particularly those with Geographical Indications (GIs). However, without understanding the market and without officially registered Intellectual Property (IP) in China, IP is not protected and Chinese companies have taken advantage of the fact that many F&B producers do not have these rights, resulting in many counterfeiting F&B products in the market. High quality and well renowned products of GIs are as valuable as trademarks to producers and should be protected in the same way.

The webinar will be delivered by the China IPR SME Helpdesk, the EU SME Centre and IPKey. Together they will discuss the current landscape of the Chinese F&B market and the methods EU SMEs should take when considering entering the market. The webinar will focus on F&B products in the wine, olive oil, beer and spirits sectors and how these products can be protected through Intellectual Property and GIs.

This webinar will highlight the following:

  • The nature of the Chinese F&B market and how to gain access to it
  • Intellectual Property for the wine, olive oil, beer and spirits sectors
  • Introduction to GIs and how to protect them using Intellectual Property
  • Q&A

» Download webinar PPT
» Download webinar recording

read more

 

17/04/2015 - Participate in the SME Conference: Leading Strategies for SME Competitiveness, Shenzhen, 14 May 2015

17/04/2015 - SME Conference: Leading Strategies for SME Competitiveness, Shenzhen, 14 May 2015

The China IPR SME Helpdesk is partnering with the European Union Chamber of Commerce and the EU SME Centre for an half day  conference to provide a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices on the issues that matter most for SMEs in China, which include: intellectual property rights, human resource, and fraud. This conference highlights practical tools available for SMEs to help grow their businesses and SMEs will learn how to build leading strategies and compete for talent in the increasingly competitive market. For more information, please click here.