IPR protection at China’s trade fairs
Around 4,000 trade fairs take place in Mainland China every year with Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou being the most important locations, followed by Dalian, Shenzhen and Zhuhai. One of the main concerns many foreign investors have when approaching the Chinese trade fair circuit is how to protect ones intellectual property while at a fair.
The norms aimed at enforcing intellectual property rights during exhibitions are relatively new. This special set of administrative norms was promulgated by the MOC and SAIC on January 10, 2006 and entered into force on March 1, 2006. In the past, enforcement of rights during exhibitions was not regulated, which led to ineffectual protection against even the most flagrant infringements.
Frequent conflicts between different authorities arose as to determine which authority was responsible for taking measures of enforcement. Due to the unclear definition of competences between different offices, it frequently occurred that decisions made by one authority were not accepted or executed by another one, bringing the case to a deadlock and giving the infringers enough time to get rid of the incriminating evidence.
The new legislation has drawn a clear line as to which authorities are competent to intervene during exhibitions in case of infringement. Hopefully this will help solve some problems of the past.
Source: Dezan Shira & Associates, China Briefing, October 2008