Tuesday, January 06, 2009

EU Experience and Practice Must Show China The Way Concerning IPR Protection At Exhibitions

It is crucial for companies to showcase their new products to the world at trade fairs and exhibitions. Hower, these places welcome potential customers but also IPR infringers.

To make the bonafide exhibitors less vulnerable to IPR infringements and deal with the IPR infringers that also have come to the trade fairs, the IPR2 (EU-China Project on Protecting Intellectual Property Rights, 10.85 million euro provided by the EU and 5.425 million euro by China) has written a 36 page study that must show the way to the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Commerce of China on 'How to Protect Your Intellectual Property at Trade Fairs', based on the experience and practice of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, see pdf here.

Negative peculiarities in IPR protection during exhibitions mentioned in the study are:

  • Timing; because of the short period it can be hard to execute an ex parte order;
  • There can be a lack of availability of experts;
  • Risk of double prejudice for both the IPR owner and alleged infringer.

The study comes up with the following positive peculiarities in IPR protection during exhibitions:

  • Move evidence available;
  • An extra jurisdiction option;
  • Deterring effect, because of the public perception of an intervention.

The study was written by:
Jean-Frédéric Gaultier (Clifford Chance, France);
Reinhardt Schuster (Bardehle Pragenberg Dost Altenburg Geissler, Germany)
Giovanni Casucci (Casucci Studio Legale, Italy) who also coordinated the study;
Montserrat Lopez-Bellosta (Clifford Chance, Spain);
Carlos Rivadulla (Clifford Chance, Spain);
Johannes Jabocus Brinkhof (Brinkhof, the Netherlands);
Philippe Azzola ( Philippe P. Azzola, Switzerland).

A condensed version of the study was provided to some 200 companies in a training run by the Ministry of Commerce at China's most important trade fair, 104th China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province (15-19 Oct; 24-28 Oct and 2-6 Nov 2008).

The report came a year after a EU-China Seminar on the Protection of IPR at Trade Fairs in Beijing and Shenzhen in November 2007. IPR2 supported a study tour by MOFCOM officials to Paris, France; Berlin, Hannover, Germany and Milan, Italy in November 2008 to assess the methods and practices employed at several of the largest European trade fairs. Read more about the study tour here.

The Protection Measures for Intellectual Property Rights during Exhibitions of the People's Republic of China, formulated according to the Foreign Trade Law of the PR China, Patent Law of the PR China, Trademark Law of the PR China, Copyright Law of the PR China and relevant administrative regulations, however, is already in force since 2006, see here.

UPDATE: The powerpoint presentation 'Stakeholder briefing www.ipr2.org, March 6, 2009, can be seen here.

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