Stay informed of your IP rights with the China IPR SME Helpdesk

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 26 July 2021

The China IPR SME Helpdesk has published a guide to inform small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of protecting their intellectual property (IP) rights in China.

The new publication, titled Guide to using contracts to protect your intellectual property rights in China, addresses the importance of tailoring contracts to ensure IP assets are sufficiently protected.

Contracts that include the IP protection are usually divided into four main categories:

  • Technology development, transfer, consultancy and service;
  • Trade mark and copyright licence;
  • Manufacturing, distribution and sales;
  • Employment.

Therefore, SMEs should understand the correct provisions and contracts needed for their specific IP rights. This guide has been created to guide companies through provisions they should include or avoid, dependent of the nature of the contract.

The guide explores non-disclosure agreements, as well as confidentiality, remuneration and other IP provision in contracts – other aspects that need to be protected. Terminology is also covered in the publication, outlining how terms need to be correctly applied in contracts.

For example, China defines ‘trade secret’ as ‘any non-public technical or business information with commercial value that is guarded by confidentiality measures’. Meanwhile, ‘confidential information’ refers to ‘any non-public information pertaining to a company’s business.’ It is also a term used more broadly in scope than ‘trade secret’.

As both trade secrets and confidential information are important to an organisation’s business activities, they need to be carefully considered in contracts, with the correct provisions in place to protect them.

The document contains helpful SME case studies to illustrate these important aspects of contracts in China, including the action taken, its outcome and important lessons to learn. Helpful tips, a glossary and related resources are also provided.

Download the guide on the EU Publications Office website.

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