Intellectual property rights and protection remain a vital sector for Chinese outbound investors. Joanna Law stops off at some global IP hotspots

No matter where you look in the world, it’s a certainty that a dispute is ongoing over someone’s intellectual property (IP). The theft of ideas is nothing new, but just as important to those investing abroad is knowledge of the legal system they are about to move into, and what compliance is necessary to ensure their company’s valuable IP is protected in that jurisdiction.

With China outbound investment still on the increase, forewarned is forearmed on trademarks, patents, IP protection and regulatory compliance.

Europe

Chinese companies are really well placed to obtain patent protection in Europe

In Europe, the EU’s trademark reforms are a hot issue, while a mistaken belief by Chinese companies that EU territories are unitary in the IP field is a common but avoidable problem.

On the North American front, social media and online infringements are creating major trademark challenges in the US, while a Canadian Supreme Court’s leave to hear Astra Zeneca’s appeal in the AstraZeneca v Apotex case is on everyone’s lips. The case revolves around the validity of an AstraZeneca patent.

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