How to retain your profit back to events

Date: 11/09/2008 - 11/09/2008
Type: FCCC events
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On 11 September 2008, the Flanders-China Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the IPR Helpdesk, organised a seminar on ‘How to retain your profit by better protecting your Intellectual Property Rights in China’.

Mrs Gwenn Sonck, Executive Director of the Flanders-China Chamber of Commerce, introduced the speakers: Mrs Stephanie Mitchell, Head of IPR Team of the European Commission, Mr Dafydd Rhys Woodward, Project Manager, China IPR SME Helpdesk team, Mrs Karin Beukel of the IPR Company and Mr Dusan Oblak, Regional Director Asia, Schréder.

Mrs Mitchell commented that, these last decades, Intellectual Property Rights have become one of the biggest worries for European companies in China. It is therefore vital that businesses can rely on a support system such as the IPR Helpdesk. The China IPR SME Helpdesk is a European Commission initiative with the objective of supporting European SMEs in both the protection and enforcement of their Intellectual Property Rights in China. The Helpdesk provides free information, workshops and training material on a range of IPR issues. Companies with specific problems can also get in direct contact with Mrs Mitchell.

Mr Woodward of the IPR Helpdesk acknowledges that the interest in China has seen a tremendous increase due to China’s economic growth. Moreover, counterfeit has grown to be an important business in China. Consequently, the protection and promotion of innovation has become a modern age challenge.
The IPR Helpdesk focuses on two main pilars: 

-    Cure: They wish to respond to the needs of SMEs on the ground in China. 
-    Prevention: The IPR Helpdesk wants to reach out to SMEs who have yet to engage in China.

Mrs Beukel and the IPR Company have extensive global experience of IPR strategy analysis and IPR management implementation. She emphasized the role of IPR within an SME business strategy and gave some insights into how counterfeiters work. Furthermore, Mrs Beukel discussed some case studies and underlined the importance of minimizing the risk of infringement by securing your SME. Preparation is essential before entering the market! Once the necessary steps are taken, the enforcement process against the counterfeiters can start.

Finally, Mr Oblak introduced Chinese patent law through several examples he had experienced with the Schréder Group in China. Schréder is specialised in outdoor lighting and registered its Chinese venture, Tianjin Lighting Schréder, 20 years ago. Mr Oblak stated that, first of all, companies should protect their name and products. Secondly, it is important to build your patents and ensure yourself that your project cannot backfire. Thirdly, one should be cautious with copyright. Finally, Mr Oblak advised companies to have their personnel in China sign a non-disclosure agreement. Should your products be copied, Mr Oblak emphasized the necessity of taking the matter into your own hands. However, companies must have a solid case before being able to start legal procedures.

For further information on the IPR Helpdesk of the European Commission, please visit the website

The seminar was attended by 30 persons.