The British Chamber of Commerce in China (BCCC) recently launched the 2021 edition of its China Market Entry Guide (MEG). You can download a copy of the Guide here.
The aim of the MEG is to support British businesses looking to export and thrive in China and also connect new market entrants with experts on the ground, such as Rouse.
Rouse helped prepare the “8 things to know” in the Intellectual Property section (which can be found on page 68 of the Guide and below). For more information, please contact Ross Parsonage.
8 things to know
- Most value of UK businesses reside in their intellectual / intangible assets. Many intellectual assets add value to a business, not just intellectual property.
- China is transforming from copycat to high tech innovation. Investment in R&D is paying off and China’s innovation capabilities are growing rapidly. From 2011 to 2021 China jumped from no. 29 to no. 14 in the Global Innovation Index Rankings.
- The majority of technology transactions in China do not have any active involvement or intervention by the government, or any requirements to enter into Joint Ventures.
- There is a misconception that intellectual property rights are not respected in China. Although China’s IP system is primarily built to address the needs of domestic entities it doesn’t automatically mean that UK rights holders cannot effectively use the system to protect its IP rights. The Chinese Government understands well that an innovation driven economy requires an IP legal system that functions effectively for all market players.
- China has long been the world’s largest market for ecommerce and all of the major Chinese ecommerce platforms have takedown procedures for taking down infringing products and content. As in the UK, proof of IP rights in China are required.
- China has the largest trade mark registry in the world. In 2020, the total number of trade mark applications in China reached a staggering 9.116 million, a 20.23% increase compared to 2019. The number of valid registered trade marks was 28,393,188.
- Unlike the UK China has a first-to-file policy on trade marks. Therefore, the first person to file a trade mark registration in China is typically granted the rights to the mark in that country. Applying for a trade mark as soon as possible is a crucial step for UK brands doing business in China. Moreover, it is highly advisable that UK companies can do this before they consider entering the market.
- Copyright works produced in the UK are automatically protected in China and a voluntary registration system is available to record your rights which can serve as prima facie evidence of ownership.