Many businesses appreciate the benefits of doing business in China, yet many hold back on account of concerns of intellectual property theft.
By being proactive, you can help avoid many situations that increase the risk of IP theft. These are a few tips to protect your business when working in China.
1. Seek IP protection in China
Filing for a trademark, patent or copyright within the United States or the European Union does not give you adequate protection in China. The process for filing a trademark is easy and inexpensive, and China has a track record of approving protections quickly. If you plan to manufacture your products in China or sell a service or product, register your trademark in China.
2. Register your IP with China Customs
Regardless of how you choose to do business in China, registering your IP with China Customs makes it easier to stop counterfeits of your product from leaving the country. China Customs blocks products that infringe on China IP, whether incoming or outgoing.
3. Use China-centric contacts
It takes a high level of trust to reveal your IP to a third party, especially in a foreign country. You can use a good contract to help protect your IP, such as an NNN agreement. This is the China-centric counterpart of an NDA. You can also include a non-compete agreement, licensing agreement or confidentiality agreement to prohibit unauthorized use.
Expanding your business to China can lead to increased revenue. Make sure you take measures to protect your intellectual property.