How to Attend the 114th Canton Fair More Effectively – Part Three – Legal Issues

In international trade fairs especially in Europe and the United States, it is common practice for lawyers of other legal representatives from the side of the manufacture to swarm the exhibition hall and check whether there are copyright violations, patent infringement or has the booth paid for the necessary license for related software such as DVD player, MP3 player, etc. The supplier would be held responsible if any products are found at their booth are not manufactured by them.

For such cases, usually the products would be confiscated and the company would get a court order and has to pay a fine. In some much worse situations the exhibitor might even face arrest if there is a sign of escaping.

I just want to remind you to be aware of copyright and patent infringement before making a deal as Chinese companies have a different understanding of copyright and patent laws.

Some Chinese factories might buy a hot selling branded product from Europe and copy it by making some minor changes. Then they believe it is their own design. They will register the products at Beijing Patent Registry as their own design.

If you confirm with them whether it is their own design, they will certainly tell you it is theirs and they have registered it. However, the registration is useless if you import the products back to your own country. In most cases you will be caught and have to pay a severe fine to the original brand name owner.

We are not talking about small change here. Sometimes this can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It can even happen to you long after you have imported the products and forgotten about them. It is common practice that the brand name owners wait some time before pursuing their legal cases because in the case of patent infringements more compensation money can be retrieved that way.

Do yourself a favor and avoid manufacturers that practice this kind of business for your own protection.

About the Blogger

Do as the Romans do — It is essentially important for enterprises engaging in international business. Business in Guangzhou aims to provide relevant, resourceful and reliable information of business practice, Guangzhou wholesale markets, canton fairs, expat experience and Guangzhou Interpreter service for those who want to enter Chinese market.

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