Intellectual Property Rights in China

What Are Intellectual Property Rights?

Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) refers to the creations of the intellect for which a monopoly/rights is assigned to the designated owners by law. IP is a bracket of property that holds and grants protection under the Chinese & international law to the intangible assets which are original, innovative product of human intelligence, creativity or mental labor. These intangible assets are a crucial part of the business world as most of these assets are strategically used and designed to run an organization. Any company that is planning to establish a national or international business must take the steps to protect the usage of its Intellectual property.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are protection granted to the creators of IP, and this include the trademarks, copyright, patents, industrial design rights, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets are also protected under the provincial and local laws.

Intellectual Property in Mainland China

The Intellectual Property must be registered with the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) to prevent acts of product infringements, commercial scale piracy, counterfeiting etc. The IP enforcement is carried out at central, provincial and local levels.

1. Patent

The patents & design protection is administered by the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO). SIPO defines four distinct types of IP laws for patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets in China.

2. Trademark

The State Administration of Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (SAIC) is responsible for administration, registration of trademarks under Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO), which is part of the SAIC.

3. Copyright

The copyright registration is administered by the Copyright Protection Center of China (CPCC) under the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC).

Classification of Intellectual Property Rights Protection Laws in China

The Intellectual property laws has been specifically distinguished into several categories with:

  • Rules and regulations
  • Range of protection
  • Duration, termination and invalidation
  • Measured of protection
  • Pertaining to the laws

1. Patent Law

A patent law is enacted by the authorities for the purpose of protecting the lawful rights & interests of patentees, encouraging invention-creation, promoting the application of invention-creation, enhancing innovation capability, promoting the advancement of science and technology and the economic and social development.

Invention Patent

The Chinese invention patents are broadly analogous and requires a full examination by SIPO before being granted. People’s Republic of China is a signatory to the International Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This implies that the international applications can be transferred into Chinese invention patents in accordance with usual procedures.

Utility Model

The utility models are sometimes called "mini-patents" and require a lower level of inventiveness. Applications for utility models in China are not substantively examined, and are typically granted in 3-6 months. Utility models can be a useful way to secure protection cheaply and quickly for technological, mechanical and electrical products.

Design Patent

The design patents are similar to registered designs in the European Union. While, applications for registered designs in China are also not substantively examined, and are typically granted in 3-6 months. Unregistered designs receive significantly less protection in China.

China is a signatory to the Berne Convention, so copyright arises automatically for any work created inside or outside of China, without requiring registration for protection. However, it is recommended that rights owners consider voluntary registration to help prove ownership in infringement actions.

Click here to know how to apply for a Chinese Patent.

2. Trademark Law

Registered trademarks mean trademarks that have been approved and registered by the Trademark Office, including trademarks, service marks, collective marks and certification marks.

Click here to know how to apply for a Chinese Trademark.

3. Copyright Law

This Law is enacted, in accordance with the Constitution, for the purposes of protecting the copyright of authors in their literary, artistic and scientific works and the copyright-related rights and interests.

Range of Protection

The term “works” includes works of literature, art, natural science, social science, engineering, and technology.

Where a work is created by adaptation, translation, annotation or arrangement of a pre-existing work, the copyright in the work thus created shall be enjoyed by the adapter, translator, annotator or arranger, provided that the exercise of such copyright shall not prejudice the copyright in the original work.

Click here to know how to apply for a Chinese Copyright.

4. Trade Secrets

A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, commercial method, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable by others, and by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers.

In China, there isn’t a set of laws to protect trade secrets specifically. Owners of trade secrets seek to this information by instituting special procedures like non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and work-for-hire and non-compete clauses. However, trade secrets are still loved by companies, for as secrets, they do not need to be exposed to the public like patents (maybe that is why they are not specially protected).

Our Intellectual Property Services in China

Applying for Intellectual Property is a crucial part of the business operation as it is essential to protect the intangible assets of the company. As a specialist firm we at Business Setup Worldwide offer a range of comprehensive Intellectual property services for businesses and companies that includes:

  • Patent and legal translation
  • Drawing of patent marks to match the international standard
  • Trademark search, registration and enforcement
  • Filing of national and Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications
  • Monitoring competitors activates
  • Identifying the latest trends in IP litigation
  • Solving legal business issues

Who We Are

Business Setup Worldwide is a global business platform that helps you set up your business and expand them internationally. We help our clients right from incorporation your business, registration and licensing to establishing your office space in China, we also assist our clients in selecting the right method of business permit, advise on the locational advantages, handle the legislative issues in setting up company in China, obtaining permits, licenses and special permits according to your scope of the business operation, industry sector and region in China.

At Business Setup Worldwide we have strong commitment to high quality professionalism, comprehensive capability across varied segments of disciplines, proactive and continuous learning in ever changing global environment and ability to conceive innovative strategies and provide comprehensive support in executing such strategies distinguish your Business Setup, and provide the competitive edge in ensuring growth.

Business Setup Worldwide proprietary business design techniques, combined with its specialized industry knowledge, localized approach and global reach, enable companies to anticipate changes in customer priorities and the competitive environment, and then design their businesses and improve operations to seize opportunities created by those changes.

Why Us?

Business Setup Worldwide has a set of talented professionals who can guide you through in the application, and acquiring the Intellectual Property (IP) in China as well as internationally. Our team is expert in company formation, company registration, providing services in accounting & bookkeeping and intellectual property services in China. We help our clients in clearing all the legal proceedings that are crucial in setting up a business foundation, protect IPRs, taxation policies, etc. Our Intellectual Property team will enable your IP a comprehensive global protection of your valuable assets in China. Contact us to know more.