Daxue Talks transcript #1: 5 minutes talk with a business lawyer about the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights in China
Find here the Daxue Talks episode 1. Learn in 2-5 minutes the latest updates about intellectual property (IP) rights protection in China from a China-based business lawyer.
Full transcript below:
I am Nicolas Coster, I’m a Fench business lawyer. I’ve been in China for 16 years and specialized in foreign direct investment. So, basically, I set up companies in China.
- About IP protection, what is the process to get your brand name protected?
Nicolas Coster: Basically, it is like everywhere in the world, you need to register your trademark in China with what we called the CTMO, this is a Chinese Trademark Office. The most important thing to know is that in China the time to register the trademark on average is from 14 to 16 months, so as soon as you register it, the better it is.
2. How do you win an IP lawsuit in China?
Nicolas Coster: Of course, you can win an IP lawsuit in China. The most important is to collect the pieces of evidence, so you have two ways to do it. The first one, you do it by yourself and you can go to see the court and, of course, you have the burden of the proof. The second way, you can ask what we call the administration of Industry and Commerce to investigate the case for you and to launch an administrative investigation.
3. Is video considered as evidence in China and can it be used in trial?
Video is evidence in China. If you do a video what you need to do is to go to see a Chinese notary and it will notarize the video, and later you can use it as evidence to the court.
4. Can you share any stories of foreign companies failing to protect their IP? What can we learn from them? What are some surprising aspects that foreign firms were not aware of that led to blowbacks?
Nicolas Coster: You know, when foreigner starts to be interested in the Chinese market most of them think to register a trademark. This is not the issue, the issue is most of the time they forgot about the Chinese trademark. So in China, Chinese people read the Chinese language obviously, that’s mean when they see a Latin character for a trademark, for them it doesn’t mean something very important. So, most of the time when you are a foreigner and you use Chinese distributor to sell your product in China, they will translate your trademark in China into Chinese. If you are not careful, if you don’t control this translation, if you don’t protect the Chinese translation of your trademark as a trademark, the day you break relationship with your Chinese partners in China, it might be possible that you already register the Chinese trademark and then your trademark will be transferred to your partners. Chinese consumers will refer to your trademark with a product of your ex-partners.
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