Growing a business to have an international presence is a goal for many entrepreneurs. However, protecting your intellectual property (IP) can become increasingly complex as you expand globally.
The amount of patent applications filed in China, for example, already exceeds those filed with the:
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
- European Patent Office (EPO)
- Japan Patent Office (JPO)
- Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)
Many American patent holders operate in China. If you are considering international expansion, it may pay off to learn about how you can retain rights to your IP in China.
China’s patent protection
In China, you can be granted both utility and invention patents for the same idea you wish to protect. Therefore, it may be wise to file both patent applications at the same time. Some additional factors to note regarding applying for Chinese IP protection include:
- You must combine software with hardware to receive patent protection
- Accurate translation is necessary when you file your patent application
- Business models may be patentable if they contain technical elements
Depending on your ultimate business goals, you may choose to file an international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), of which 153 countries are members.
Seek counsel before you apply for your patent
Without proper intellectual property protection, entrepreneurs potentially run the risk of losing rights in one or several countries upon disclosure of their invention elsewhere. However, you can seek simultaneous IP protection in numerous countries through the PCT.
No matter what the product is that you want to patent, approaching the process in an informed, comprehensive manner will give you recourse if someone infringes upon your rights. Before you release your confidential information, ask an experienced IP attorney questions about the best way to protect what is rightfully yours.
If you need help retaining IP rights in China, contact Wang IP Law Group, P.C..