The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) updated its China Intellectual Property Rights toolkit in May 2021. It reflects China’s most recent changes in intellectual property laws and the government structures that oversee them. Initially published in 2019 to provide an understanding of businesses and potential partners of the IP landscape in that country, the update highlights the recent differences in the U.S. and China legal systems regarding IP rights. This includes:
- A list of the Chinese government agencies who deal with IP matters
- How to apply for IP rights in China
- Tips for protecting an IP in that country
- The best way to enforce IP rights in that country
Helpful on several fronts
The original and revised edition both raise IP concerns regarding China’s disregard for IP laws or concepts. However, it also functions as a 22-page primer for those looking to do business with Chinese partners or those with strong connections in that country, particularly if the U.S. partners are small to medium-sized companies.
Important tips to remember:
- The U.S. and China IP and legal systems are different.
- Registering here in the U.S. does not automatically protect IP in China or other countries.
- It is best to conceive of a business strategy that considers and similarities and differences of the two countries’ IP legal systems.
Not legal advice
Those businesses that want to move beyond the theoretical stage should still consult attorneys who handle deals and contracts, resolving disputes and related IP matters. These legal professionals can consider all the factors and provide legally grounded guidance specific to the circumstances of the matter.