Over the years we have crystallised several helpful action plans in relation to common and dangerous threats to your intangible assets characterized by a certain standardized part and certain tailor made part.
Chinese Customs are mandated by law to make a check of all the exported goods. For IPRs’ owners it is possible to record their rights with the General Administration of Customs (“GAC”) database and initiate an active surveillance and detention program.
Generally speaking essential parts of this plan are the following steps:
- Recordation of selected numbers of trademarks, patents, copyright with the GAC;
- General Customs’ Guarantee letter issued by Bank;
- Verification of temporarily detained goods and reply to Customs confirming the violation or not;
- Follow-up of the several initiated cases until the punishment and disposal decision;
- Storage and Disposal Fee clearance.
Trade fairs in China are the most common way to meet potential partners. While trade fairs are an incredible tool for business, they often represent a threat for trademarks and patents. Trade fairs are often populated by trademark squatters and patent trolls searching for the next victim.
It is therefore important to be trained and ready to face such threats and catch the opportunities. We have set a standardised action plan to support SMEs taking part in trade fairs in China as visitors or exhibitors. This plan can be summarised in the following main points:
- Identifying and printing the relevant Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs);
- Express filing of trademarks (within 24H);
- Evidence of IP violation acquisition via notary office;
- Support in promoting the take down request with competent authority during the trade fair;
- Company Credibility Report;
- Legal Assistance in contract drafting and finalization.
One of the most well-known threats to IPRs in China are the so called fake (or pearl) markets. These are shopping areas fully or mainly dedicated to commodities whose origin is in majority counterfeits. These places have become very popular and visited by hundreds of thousand tourists every year.
After several years of experience the team at HFG have crystallised a method and developed the skills for dealing with these threats. This action plan consists of the following key points and variables:
- Surveying the markets;
- Contacting landlord and management offices and negotiating a coordinated take down action;
- Formalizing cease and desist letters;
- Acquiring evidence via notary public;
- Raid and Litigation in extreme cases to support credibility and efficiency of the whole plan.
Statistics prove that e-commerce is growing day by day. At the current stage the online market has already reached very relevant markets. As well as opportunities, e-commerce has generated threats for IP assets. Online platforms are populated by counterfeiters which enjoy hiding themselves behind the electronic curtain. Fake products can be easily distributed in China and abroad via online commerce platforms like Taobao, Alibaba, Aliexpress, MarcoPolo, etc.
Over the years, we have formalised a method and procedure to deal with online sellers and platforms which mainly consist of:
- Recording IPR owner and IPRs with the platform IP protection system;
- Surveying the website;
- Forwarding the take down notice;
- Follow-up (check/undertaking/etc.).