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Understanding China IP

Intellectual property (IP) protection when importing from China

By Fredrik Grönkvist

Intellectual Property (IP) theft is a main concern for Startups and Small businesses importing from China, and other Asian countries.


How to protect your IP from China: Beware of subcontractors

By Dan Harris

One of the primary ways foreign companies lose their IP to China is via infringement by manufacturing or service subcontractors. Our China lawyers constantly see/hear of foreign companies that enter into “iron-clad” contracts with a primary Chinese company, only to lose their IP to a subcontractor for whose behavior the primary Chinese company has no responsibility.


Why do China trademarks matter anyway?

By Dan Harris

China trademarks are worth way more than their weight in gold.

I spend a huge portion of my waking hours talking to companies doing business in China or looking to do business in or with China. One of the things I virtually always try to discuss with all potential and actual clients at least once (and usually during our first conversation) is the need for them to protect their IP in China. Maybe one out of fifty of our clients has no IP to protect, but the rest do and it is surprising how many of them do not realize the need for them to do so when dealing with China.


China product development: What you NEED to know

By Dan Harris

China Lawyers

I regularly read of the Quality Inspection Blog because it consistently provides actionable and accurate advise to companies looking to have their products manufactured in China. It’s written by Renaud Anjoran, who has more than a decade of China sourcing experience and he just gets it. Last year, Renaud wrote a post, entitled, How Can Inventors Develop a Custom-Made Product in China? I somehow missed that post but I learned of it today when a potential client looking to have its IoT product made in China told me that what I was telling him about IP in China “completely matched” what Renaud had said in this post.


Are your China trademarks dirty?

by Dan Harris 

Read an interesting Linkedin post today, entitled, Does your business have ‘dirty’ IP? The post is by an Intellectual Property (IP) and branding specialist and it emphasizes the importance of domestic companies cleaning making sure their IP is clean. But what it says about domestic companies applies with equal force to foreign companies doing business in China.


3 things you must do to hang on to your molds

by Dan Harris 

You may own it, but if you have not done the right things to hang on to it, you ain't gonna get it.
You may own it, but if you have not done the right things to hang on to it, you ain’t gonna get it.


What with China’s economic downturn, our China lawyers are getting an increasing number of emails and phone calls from companies seeking our help to “get their molds” back from their Chinese manufacturers. Whenever a foreign company terminates its Chinese manufacturer, it is at great risk of having the Chinese manufacturer keep the foreign company’s molds. The Chinese manufacturer typically holds on to the molds to extract money from the foreign company, but sometimes it does this simply for revenge. And what we are seeing more of these days is the situation where a Chinese manufacturer shuts down and one of the manufacturer’s creditors swoops in to take the foreign company’s mold.


How to protect against copies when you manufacture in China

by Renaud Anjoran

For certain types of products (electrical, plastic injection etc.) Chinese manufacturers are often the best source. Production can be performed with relatively high quality and a relatively low cost. However, one of China’s major weaknesses is its lack of respect of intellectual property rights.


Register your trademark In China: Now. Just ask Mike

by Dan Harris

More than four years ago, we did a post, entitled, China: Do Just One Thing. Trademarks. In that post, we emphasized the absolutely critical importance of registering your trademarks in China, not later but now:

From time to time I get calls from start-up companies about to embark on manufacturing in China. They are calling to ask what they need to do “to protect themselves.”

I tell them about NNN Agreements and important those are to help prevent potential manufacturers from replicating their product. And I tell them about how important it is that they have an OEM Agreement to define and “regulate” their relationship with their Chinese manufacturer.


How to protect your brand in Vietnam; China too

by Gregory Buhyoff and Dan Harris 


It's your brand. Protect it in Vietnam.

It’s your brand. Protect it in Vietnam.

Our lead Vietnam lawyer, Greg Buhyoff, wrote the below article for Intellectual Property Magazine earlier this year. I read it this weekend to better assist a China consumer goods company that is contemplating expanding from China to Vietnam. Though obviously about Vietnam (and not China), I have decided to run it on here because so many companies that are in China are also in Vietnam or at least thinking about going to Vietnam, but more importantly, because the tips it provides for protecting your brands in Vietnam apply with equal force to China.


China IP: Is your barn door open?

by Dan Harris 


Shut the barn door before the horses or IP have left.

Shut the barn door before the horses or IP have left.


Beware of brand name scam from China

by Mike Bellamy

Video Text Transcript

Hello, I’m Mike Bellamy, founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions and blogger at I’ve been living in China full time now for over 12 years, and it is my pleasure to offer in this short video, some tips about how to recognize and avoid a common scam in China.


Preventing China counterfeiting: The basics

by Dan Harris

When Christmas is approaching, China counterfeiting goes into overdrive, and this year has been no different. The real trick to reduce counterfeiting is to do the things earlier in the year that can help to prevent it. The more you do before you face an infringement problem, the less likely you are to have an infringement problem and the more that can be done to stop the infringement problem once it starts.


When it helps to have a China lawyer: China trademarks

by Dan Harris 

A China trademark lawyer friend of mine sent me a Wall Street Journal article the other day, entitled, When It Helps to Have a Lawyer. The email containing the article link read as follows:


China IP protection Is possible

by Dan Harris

Virtually every U.S. company doing business in or with China has intellectual property requiring protection from China. Yet far too many of these companies treat their intellectual property in China as an optional or secondary matter when it really should be one of the first issues they consider when approaching the China market.


What information do I need to file my trademark application In China?

by Sophie Mao

The notion that being there first somehow justifies ownership rights is a venerable and persistent one.” –Lawrence C. Becker, Property Rights: Philosophical Foundations (1977).


Tightened intellectual property related border measures by Chinese Customs

by David Chen

The border measures taken by the Chinese Customs has been ever increasing. Recently starting in late October, export shipments involving UL, HDMI, Bluetooth, SD marks etc, which are widely used on consumer electronics, were heavily inspected by customs officials. A lot of delays were caused and infringing shipments seized.


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