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Australian businesses should protect and enforce their intellectual property in China, says IP Australia

16 November 2017

IP Australia has today released a guide for protecting intellectual property in China.

David Bennett, IP Australia’s Beijing based IP Counsellor, says China’s recent establishment of specialised IP courts in Beijiing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and IP tribunals in ten major cities (including economic powerhouses Wuhan, Nanjing, Suzhou and Chengdu) is just one sign of the strengthened IP protection available in the country.

“Like Australia, China protects IP through civil enforcement, which gives courts the power to issue injunctions and award damages for IP infringement. In addition, China protects IP through administrative enforcement, which Australian businesses can use to have Chinese authorities conduct raids, seize infringing goods and issue fines. Chinese Customs are also able to seize shipments of infringing goods before they leave China’s borders,” said Mr Bennett.

“In this way, Australian businesses in China have multiple options to protect their IP.”

However, the first step for businesses is to register their IP in China, especially their trade marks.

“China has a first to file trade mark system. This means anyone even considering doing business in China should register their trade mark in China as early as possible - well before entering the market, having business discussions, or displaying products at trade fairs,” said Mr Bennett.

IP Australia’s China guide also includes:

  • Practical tips for registering IP in China
  • Overview of IP rights in China
  • Licensing and technology transfer
  • Exhibiting at trade fairs
  • Domain names

Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Craig Laundy MP, commented on the guide,

“China is Australia’s largest trading partner, and with its population of 1.4 billion people Australian businesses are presented with amazing business opportunities. To take full advantage of these opportunities, IP must be one of the first thoughts of any business before entering the region. China receives more trade mark, patents and industrial design applications than any other nation in the world, so it’s important when registering your IP, you’re doing it correctly. This guide will be the first step in the right direction for many Australian businesses.”

The guide can be found at www.ipaustralia.gov.au/china

As part of David’s commitment to Australian business, he will also be delivering information sessions on Protecting Your IP and Trademarks in China, starting in Sydney on 28 November 2017. Further information is on IP Australia website.

Media contact: Minister Laundy's office 02 6277 4345