Inventors and SMEs often look to cut costs by outsourcing their product manufacturing to China.
However, it’s important to take steps to manage the risks as the basis of protection in China is not the same as in the EU.
Fundamental steps to take before
1. Register your IP rights in your home country and the main countries into which you sell your products. 2. Register your trademarks in China. China is a first to file country. 3. Use a written agreement to protect your know how and trade secrets in China. These are your most valuable intangible assets. Make sure the agreement includes confidentiality provisions and restricts competition. 4. Get advice on how to structure the commercial agreement with your Chinese manufacturer so you get products of the desired quality and within agreed timescales. 5. Use comprehensive agreements with each manufacturer. Don’t just rely on purchase orders.
Arguably the most important safeguard is to choose a reputable manufacturer who is recommended.
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