Protecting Your Intellectual Property In China 2023 guide

Intellectual property in china has been a critical longstanding matter of concern in the global arena of IP, especially for foreign companies looking to expand their work and operate in china. No doubt that intellectual property in china is influencing a lot of industries there, where it affects business strategies and operations.

Intellectual property enforcement has been placed by the US-China Business Council (USCBC) members every year. This continuous placement pushed the Chinese government to put more effort into intellectual property rights enforcement. 

Challenges remain, including the framework of a procedure that frustrates company efforts to protect their Intellectual property in China and trade secrets.

 also infringers and counterfeiters have become so sophisticated in procedural loopholes and build their own parallel networks to invalidate legitimated patents and trademarks. So let’s deep dive into the intellectual property in china and how to craft a corporate IP strategy as we dig up the latest info!

Intellectual Property In China

China has been always seen as the biggest world factory conducting low-quality goods and imitating business models from abroad, For this reason, the united states have put China on its Priority Watch List. 


There are always myths that intellectual property in china is not enforced or respected, but as we just said it’s a myth. In fact, new enforcement mechanisms, legal reforms and regulatory incentives for Chinese companies who file patents have been addressed by the Chinese government, so a lot of concerns raised by foreign companies have been resolved, Intellectual propert in china and its legal framework now meet international standards.

Intellectual Property Rights In China

The first step to take is to have valid intellectual property in china so you could make use of the Chinese rules and courts if someone violates your intellectual property in china. 

Protecting your intellectual property in china should be a priority objective while drafting your business strategy. Intellectual property in china has a wide range of practice areas including-

  • Patents

There are three forms of patent available in china, invention, utility “ Mini patent”  and design patent you can file more than one form of them for the same invention, so you might want to consider filing a patent and utility model simultaneously.


The examination process is somehow long and the whole registration process must be done through a patent agent in china. So if you seek to register your patent, the state intellectual property office (SIPO) is concerned with patent administration. And it’s so much easier and quicker to apply under the terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).


According to intellectual property in china, patents are protected for up to 20 years and 10 years for the utility model and up to 15 years for the design patent.

after knowing about Protecting Your Intellectual Property In China .. read more on baianat ip


What protects intellectual property created by artists


  • Trademark

Trademarks including company name, domain name, colour combination and two or three-dimensional shapes can be protected by intellectual property rights in china, you need to register your trademark as soon as possible due to the “first to file”  rule in the intellectual property in China. 


Registration of a trademark is done through the Chinese Trademark Office (CTO) and its advisable to conduct a trademark search prior to registration, it takes 7-8 months on average to be granted.


Your application should be in Chinese and English language. A trademark is valid for ten years and can be renewed for ten more. Trademark registration may be removed if it’s not used for three consecutive years. 

  • Trade secrets

Trade secrets are practical value and can bring economic benefits, unique names, ornamentation, and packaging are also considered to be trade secret according to intellectual property in china and it doesn’t require registration.


Trade secrets are only controlled by Anti- Unfair Competition Law and administration is done through the Fair Trade Bureau of SAIC.

  • Copyright

Copyrights in china have the protection needed for international standards according to the WIPO, so copyrighted work is automatically protected through intellectual property law in china.


Although no registration is required for copyrights in china, registering it with the authorities is advisable through the National Copyright Administration Office for a fee as it provides evidence of ownership before the enforcement authorities.

  • Plant varieties

According to intellectual propert in china plant varieties are protected for 15-20 years according to the type of plant.

  • Technologies

Recently china has put certain restrictions on the transfer of technology abroad. 

after knowing about Protecting Your Intellectual Property In China .. read more on baianat ip

How To Copyright A Book Before Publishing

Importance Of Copyright In Business

Problems Of Intellectual Property Rights In China 

Foreign firms suffer from weak enforcement of intellectual property in china due to local judicial protectionism, small damage awards, challenges in obtaining evidence, and perceived bias against foreign firms. However, China has done a sincere effort so it could raise its intellectual property standards and demonstrated a serious resolve to enforce an effective intellectual property regime.


Chinese firms are striving to achieve the highest level of enforcement of intellectual property in china so they could expand abroad and in-house high-tech innovation, which of course cant be achieved in the absence of IP enforcement.

Intellectual Property Protection In China

Intellectual property in china has three main options for enforcing include including customs seizure, administrative action, and civil litigation. And the state has the full right to prosecute offenders under Criminal Law.


For administrative action, the first step is to file a complaint to the appropriate administrator. Usually, trademark cases are straightforward especially when the infringement is clear, which is not like patents and copyrights as the administrative authorities are less clear cut and you will need to collect more evidence to prove the violence.


For Civil litigation, although the deterrent effect of a high-profile court and high reward of damage but you need to consider a longer timescale and greater bureaucracy.


The customs system relies on the intelligence through which it can receive the full data about the illegal shipment and hence, can stop its importing or exporting. You can help fasten this process by pre-filling of your IP rights and supporting them with the required data such as counterfeiters’ names, details of the original goods, and routes.

Does Registering Your Intellectual Property In China Enough To Fully protect You?

Although, registering your intellectual property in china is so important but it’s still not enough to deter infringement. Monitoring the market is the only way to make sure that your product copies are not on their way to your clients. 


Good communication with the suppliers and distributors will give you extra safety and of course, you need to make sure that your IP contracts are very clear considering your partners, licensee and distributors.

How Does China Get Away With Copyright Infringement?

Intellectual property in china has been acknowledged and protected since the 1980s and china has accepted the major international conventions on the protection of  IP rights, but enforcing copyrights is somehow weak due to the country’s size, especially in rural areas with limited police resources. 


While China continues to provide attention to IPR  to reduce infringement but there is a significant variation in the copyright law between china and other countries, china doesn’t criminalize copyright violation if happened without the intent of making a profit in contrast to the American government, that will impose criminal punishments for the same infringement case.

Intellectual Property Law Firms In China

China has acceded to the major international conventions on the protection of rights to intellectual property, which resulted in an increase in decisions rendered by the Chinese Courts in IP-related civil litigations since 2008. Which has created a great demand for intellectual property law firms in china and intellectual property lawyers as well.


Intellectual property law firms in shine are performing to the maximum so they can keep up with international intellectual property standards. Baianat as an IP  firm looks forward to new cooperation and expanding its business and sharing its experience in the Chinese market.

after knowing about Protecting Your Intellectual Property In China .. read more on baianat ip

Author Copyright Agreement Inderscience

Art Copyright Infringement Examples

Share This Post!