IPMT Client Note-Intellectual Property Enforcement in China:Challenges and Opportunities

There are multiple enforcement options available in China, including: administrative action, civil litigation, criminal prosecution, and customs border control.

While there is still a fair amount of criticism surrounding IP laws in China, in particular regarding enforcement, most IPR attorneys working in China report that the rules in place provide a good deal of protection.

The issue of IPR enforcement in China is often not one about the lack of choices, but how to effectively combine these enforcement options to make a strategy that works. The key to comprehensive IPR protection in China lies in understanding the enforcement options available, the weaknesses and strengths of each respective option, how the law is actually applied on the ground and how the relevant governmental authorities interpret and enforce the law. Additionally, due to the size of China and its rapidly developing economy and legal system, the difference between theory and practice may be quite large, especially in more removed areas or smaller cities and towns. Consequently, the formation of an efficient IPR enforcement plan requires a thorough understanding of how the different enforcement
processes work.

This note is intended to provide guidance on some of the issues which companies need to consider when developing a strategy to enforce their IPR in China.

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