HONG KONG: Beating the IP pirates
Western companies face the challenge of retaining their intellectual property rights in the Chinese market, where the counterfeiting and piracy of well-known brands is widespread, writes Matthew Laight
The enormous potential of the Chinese market carries with it significant risks on the intellectual property (IP) front. For every success story there is a horror story. Counterfeiting and piracy of well-known brand names is commonplace. There are many tales of multinationals losing out because their Chinese manufacturers have registered their trademarks in their own name or have claimed to have invented the technology they have been contracted to produce and obtained patent registration themselves. IP litigation in China is full of surprises and the challenge this poses can be a serious obstacle to business. None of this, however, should prevent a business from entering China. With proper protection of IP rights and proper guidance on the intricacies of doing business in China, this enormous market can be safely tapped.
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