A mechanism aiming to provide services for enterprises based in Guangdong province, an economic powerhouse in South China, involved in disputes of intellectual property rights has been established.
Under the mechanism, which was jointly established by the Guangdong Committee of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the Guangdong Intellectual Property Protection Center, the first group of IPR protection service offices will be built in Russia, Germany and the United States this year.
By 2025, an overseas intellectual property rights protection service network will be formed, and more new service offices will be built in the following years.
The offices, with the help of the existing Guangdong economic and trade offices as well as the Guangdong chambers of commerce overseas, will be responsible for providing the most current legal information and advice of their host countries to Guangdong-based enterprises.
Additionally, the offices will organize training on intellectual property rights based on enterprises' needs. A hotline will also be launched for consultations related to intellectual property protection.
"It is very urgent to assist enterprises with the challenges they have faced in terms of IPR protection as Guangdong-based enterprises have encountered more and more intellectual property disputes in overseas markets," said Ma Xianmin, head of the Guangdong Intellectual Property Protection Center.
There have been about 50 to 100 intellectual property cases related to the overseas business of Guangdong-based companies every quarter in recent years, according to Ma.
Since its establishment in December 2018, the center has been promoting its efforts to assist Guangdong-based enterprises in IPR protection in the overseas market, collecting nearly 500 cases involved in IPR disputes, according to Ma.
"The intellectual property disputes have become a roadblock for enterprises in Guangdong, which is characterized by its export-oriented economy, in their overseas business expansion," he said.
Guangdong, the country's biggest player in foreign investment, realized foreign direct investment worth $16.97 billion in 2021, according to Fang Lixu, president of the Guangdong Committee of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
"Enterprises should develop a clear intellectual property strategy and make a good layout of intellectual property at home and abroad if they want to expand their businesses at a higher level," said Fang.
Relying on its economic and trade network in the overseas market, Fang said the committee would cooperate closely with the provincial intellectual property center to help enhance companies' ability to deal with international trade risks.
"In the near future, enterprises can look for help from the intellectual property protection service centers when they encounter problems in the overseas layout of intellectual property, IPR protection, dispute settlement and other aspects in their international operations,"Fang said.