Intellectual property protection

Methods of protecting intellectual property

Different methods of protecting intellectual property include, but are not limited to:

  • Trademark registration
  • Patent
  • Utility model
  • Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
  • Information security measures

Territory of intellectual property protection

When talking about intellectual property protection and China, it is important to remember that there are several jurisdictions in China with their laws and trademark registries, etc. In practice, this often means that a trademark must be registered in several jurisdictions to reach the necessary protection within China.

Different jurisdiction in China are:

  • Mainland-China
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Taiwan

Trademark and patent registrations protect only in that jurisdiction or territory where it was registered. Also, the trademark registration protects only the products or services that were specified in the trademark application.

Different trademark classes for different products

International Nice Classification consists of 45 classes. Classes 1-34 are about goods and classes 35-45 are about services. In Hong Kong and Macau, one registration covers whole class, for example, class 8. In mainland-China and Taiwan, the applicant must choose items within an individual class which make trademark registration in said jurisdictions a bit more complicated.

You can browse Nice Classification online: http://web2.wipo.int/classifications/nice/nicepub/en/fr/edition-20160101/taxonomy/

We advise you with choosing the correct classes.

Keep your trademark registrations valid

After receiving the trademark registration certificate the trademark will be registered in China and Hong Kong for ten years, and in Macau for seven years. The trademark registration can be renewed indefinitely.

Glossary

What is a trademark? A trademark is a mark that differentiates goods or services of a company or a person from goods and services provided by other companies and people. The trademark can be letters, characters, images, numbers, 3D marks, sounds and combinations of colours, or any combination of the elements just mentioned.

  • IP, Intellectual Property is other than physical property, including technology, visual image, database and process.
  • IPR, Intellectual Property Rights are entitlements to exploit commercially exclusively some specific IP at a specific geographical area.
  • A patent is used to protect commercial exploitation of the invention by the inventor exclusively, by registering the invention at particular country or countries.
  • Trademark is a distinctive mark (word, figure etc.) which distinguish a product or a service of a company from the products and services of other similar companies.
  • NDA, Non-Disclosure Agreement is a contract to keep certain information confidential from outsiders.
  • First-to-File -principle, when registering it matters who files the registration documents first as opposed to who originally made the invention or created the trademark.

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