How to go about protecting intellectual property in China
As the client’s purchasing agent on the ground in China, it’s not just factories that PassageMaker coordinates. For example, in the pre-production phases, we often help clients register and monitor their intellectual property to ensure competitors (or sneaky suppliers) don’t gain control of the IP.
Below are excerpt from communications with some clients and potential clients. If you have questions about registering, protecting and monitoring your intellectual property, you may find the following Q&A of interest.
Part 1: Registering Intellectual Property in China
Andy in California writes: “We currently manufacture products in China and US and are looking for help on getting a trademark in China.”
Very wise you get your trademarks registered. China is a first to register rather than first to market system. So if your current suppliers register your logo/trademark before you do….they would own it, not you. Scary! The good news is it affordable and fairly simple to register logos and brand names. Plus once you are in the system, the courts will provide a lot more protection than if you were not registered.
Unlike some countries where an individual can file a patent, in China an approved registration agent needs to do the filling. We are happy to introduce an English speaking Chinese lawyerthat has helped our other clients get their IP registered. As you already have PassageMaker on retainer for supply chain management, our team in China can coordinate the lawyer as well, so you have one point of contact for China side items.
Based on similar projects in the past, we estimate that you can have the following done for under 1000 USD (the registration agency will invoice you direct, no fees added for PassageMaker as this is part of our supply chain service.)
The registration agent’s service, procedure and fee structure for the registration of a trademark in China is as follows:
- Search in the database of China Trademark Office (CTO) to make sure the trademark has not previously been registered.
- Organize the technical translations and prepare all documents.
- Prepare and submit application to the CTO upon official confirmation received that no errors are found.
- Follow the application and update as the application moves through the various bureaus.