The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Special> China International Fair For Investment & Trade> Beijing Review Exclusive> Legal-Ease
UPDATED: March 3, 2009 NO. 9 MAR. 5, 2009
Protecting Your IPR at Chinese Trade Fairs and Exhibitions II

One of the main concerns many foreign investors have when approaching the Chinese trade fair circuit is how to protect their intellectual property while attending these events. Here we examine what can be done to protect your interests.

Protecting your IPR

Filing for intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the form of patents or trademarks entitles a person or a company to use all legal means defined by law in case of infringements. However, these rights do not "protect" the content of intellectual assets. It is highly recommended to combine IPRs with protection mechanisms that ensure that crucial information cannot be retrieved easily from disloyal employees or criminal outsiders. In some cases, protection measures can be more effective than a patent, such as when the product cycle is much shorter than the time needed for a patent registration. For products with short life cycles, filing for a utility model may be more useful than a patent as the examination period is much shorter.

Strict confidentiality is one of the best protection methods and should be a main concern, especially with long-lasting products or technologies. In general, the protection of sensible information is mandatory and can be achieved by implementing some common-sense rules, such as access control and prohibiting downloads from personal computer stations. However, sometimes simply the fact that a product is in the market does not allow keeping a technology confidential, as many technological traits can be re-engineered. In most cases confidentiality is used to protect recipes or production procedures that cannot be simulated easily. The recipe of Coca-Cola is a well-known example for keeping a combination of ingredients secret much longer than the lifetime of a patent.

Safety measures



Holography; Watermarks;

Temperature sensible colors;

Color-shifting ink; Mechanisms to

prevent unauthorized opening. 


Invisible, UV/IR reflecting color;

Micro-writing; Colors that are only

visible with filters; Radio-frequency

identification (RFID) tag. 


Bar code; Matrix code; Encrypted

matrix code. 

Digital watermarks; Tangents

(either a radio frequency microchip

used in automated identification

and data capture or a chemical or

physical marker added to materials

to allow various forms of testing);

Cryptographic data protection. 

Technological development allows a variety of protection measures to be applied for all kinds of products. The following list names some of the most common safety measures according to the level of sophistication:

 According to security experts, protection can be achieved by using three to 10 security features and also by changing them on a regular basis in order to make illegal copying even more difficult.

When deciding which security feature might be feasible, it should be taken into consideration whether the measure serves as a preventive protection against counterfeiting or a means of generating evidence in case of a lawsuit or administrative action against illegal copies. Preventive measures include all features that can be recognized by non-experts and without technical support (see Level 1 in the table), such as safety features on money bills. Measures that provide evidence are usually hidden and demand a complex procedure.

Measures that allow a continuous tracking of each product guarantee the highest standard of protection against counterfeiting. However, the implementation of such a complex tracking system is expensive and may not be justified although those measures also have a positive secondary effect in terms of quality control and logistics.

No matter whether a company decides to use preventive or evidence-securing measures or tracks the whole production and distribution chain, if an infringement occurs the company needs explicit rights to fight the counterfeiter. Without a trademark, design patent, invention patent or utility model there is no legal foundation to prevent a counterfeiter from using another company's intellectual rights. A reasonable combination of technical safety measures and IPRs increases the probability that counterfeiters may stop the infringing activities or chose another victim with less protection.


Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved