Season's greetings! The holidays are a time for rest, relaxation, family values, and, of course, proactive IP protection. Throughout November and December, the Helpdesk has been meeting with partners and stakeholders, consulting with experts, and building the team to ensure a productive 2016. Over the rest of December, the Helpdesk will take a publishing break as our staff focuses on holiday merriment before setting its sights on the year ahead.
In January, expect to see the Helpdesk come back strong with new events, publications, and webinars. Until then, take care, and we wish you all the best!
This newsletter includes:
Information on upcoming training events in Europe, China and online
In November and December, the Helpdesk has participated in a series of meetings with a variety of organisations to build its network and magnify its own efforts. In our recent stakeholder meeting, representatives of SMEs, EU institutions, and other NGOs came together to review the Helpdesk's work and to build new bridges for collaboration and resource-sharing. Meanwhile, meetings with international publishers promise to yield exciting new opportunities for expanding the Helpdesk's expert network and geographic reach. While we can't share names yet, expect to see Helpdesk guides, articles, and events grow in name recognition in the Asia region in 2016.
Wine Series Info Pack
Anyone who has followed us recently will be familiar with the Alexander Bayntun-Lee's recent Wine IPR Series. The series has been making waves, drawing interest from publishers and European newspapers in unprecedented numbers.
To cap off the publication of the series, the Helpdesk will soon release an info pack containing all of the Wine series material. For anyone who has a stake in China's food and beverage market but missed our earlier webinar on wine IPR, the info pack will include recordings and much, much more.
Spotlight - NDAs
For many SMEs, taking the first steps in business engagement with China entails finding a manufacturer who can produce quality goods at competitive prices. Wise SMEs know that even at such an early stage, loose lips could tip off competitors to product ideas or entry strategies.
To protect IP while searching for manufacturers, non-disclosure agreements are key. In two recent articles, the Helpdesk's Samuel Sabasteanski addressed some issues that can make or break such contracts. For more information, see the articles at Your IP Insider.
Upcoming Guides "Guide to IPR Protection in China for OEM"
Original equipment manufacturing (OEM) is when a company creates only a part of a product or a subsystem for a product which is then sold by another company. For many SMEs involved in producing large, complicated machinery, Chinese manufacturers represent cheap expertise to streamline production. For many other SMEs, Chinese manufacturers offer an SME's only way of turning its ideas into physical products in a cost-conscious manner.
The Helpdesk's new guide on original equipment manufacturing and manufacturers addresses IPR protection in what is often fertile soil for IPR infringement. It takes its readers through the steps necessary for protecting IPR in an industry which by definition requires licensing of massive amounts of know-how and designs, the fruits of innovation. Anyone who thinks their business could profit from offering parts stamped with "Made in China" should give this guide a look.
"Intellectual Property Systems: China / Europe Comparison"
China is deeply embedded in international economic and legal systems but still maintains nuanced and complex laws which differ in key ways from European counterparts. When an SME expands to Europe, what can they expect to change, and what to stay the same? This guide answers those questions with a point-by-point analysis of the two systems and their key traits.
SURGE IN IP RIGHTS COMPLAINTS AT THE 118TH CANTON FAIR
Data on the 118th Fall China Import and Export Fair (better known as the Canton Fair) reveals that, compared with the previous sessions, an increased number of complaints for alleged IPR infringements was filed and a higher number of prima facie violations of IPR was found. According to Xu Bing, the spokesman of the 118th session of Canton Fair, 603 infringement cases were handled this time (72 cases more than the Spring session and 77 more than last year). A total of 860 enterprises were found to be in prima facie violation of third parties’ IPR (197 more compared with the Spring session this year and 234 more than the Spring fair last year). In the end, only 368 enterprises were found in actual violation of IPR (42.79% of the total, but the number remained stable compared with previous year). Complaints involving foreign enterprises account for 40% of the total cases. This data shows an increased awareness among exhibitors of their IP rights and measures to enforce them and the importance of monitoring trade fair premises and taking actions accordingly.
TAOBAO RULE AMENDED: MORE SEVERE PUNISHMENTS FOR REPEAT INFRINGERS
Taobao has modified its rule on the “improper use of other [persons'] right[s]” (Article 67 of Taobao Rules). The amendment was released on 1 December 2015 and will take effect from 1 January 2016. According to Taobao, more severe punishment will be imposed on recidivist sellers improperly using other parties' IPR. Even using a trademark in the listing subject (even if you do not directly sell counterfeits) can cause penalties for or closure of the infringing online store. The amendment stems from Taobao's goal of enhancing IPR protection and underscores the importance of tailoring complaint strategies to be able to make the best use of Taobao rules in order to effectively deter infringers and terminate infringement.
The China IPR SME Helpdesk, a project co-funded by the European Union, supports European small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to both protect and enforce their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in or relating to China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan through the provision of free information and services. These take the form of jargon-free, first-line, confidential advice on intellectual property and related issues, plus training, materials and online resources.