IP Protection

You need to take steps as early as possible to protect your IP in China, and businesses should have a clear plan that takes timing into account. Some rights take three years to be granted (e.g., trademark rights), while others take six to eight months (e.g., design rights). Copyright record procedures and Customs can take three to five months.

While some companies may see IP protection as slowing them down in a fast market, our advice is that: “In the long run they will thank themselves because China is not going to go away - it will continue to grow solidly over the next decade.


The companies that will succeed long-term will be those companies that have put these systems in place and been sensible in terms of making sure that the basics are right.

We think there are three essential steps to protecting your IP. You need:

  1. A budget for IP - don't leave it and hope to fit it in somewhere.
  2. A strategy before you arrive that breaks down all your IP assets and identifies how you are going to obtain rights, protect, commercialise and enforce them.
  3. Support on the ground in China for your strategy, whether that be good local counsel, or a reliable partner that “gets IP.”

The best ways to protect your IP in China is to register whatever rights you can, including patents, trademarks and recordal of copyright. If you do not register your IP with the Chinese system, you have no rights. So register early and use the system pro-actively. For help doing this you should contact a qualified lawyer or agent with experience of working in China.

There can be benefits in including China as part of a process of applying for international patent or trademark protection. These benefits include streamlining the legal process and reducing the risk that IP could become public in one country before it is protected in China.

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# Article Title Hits
21 Are there any special requirements as to the prints of trademarks? 6520
22 What are the basic documents required for an application for trademark registration? 6706
23 Is the Power of Attorney of trademark registration required to be notarized or legalized? 6538
24 Is a local agent a must for the foreign applicants to proceed with trademark-related matters before the Chinese Trademark Office (hereinafter referred to as the TMO)? 6386
25 Who are the qualified foreign applicants for trademark (hereinafter referring to mark in respect of goods and/or services) registrations in China? 9202
26 What are required to do to acquire legal protection of IPR? 6402
27 Can China provide legal protection of IPR? 6321
28 Is it possible to warn a infringer in writing? 6561
30 How to apply patent in China 6528

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