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Pirates of the Far East

If your business is considering venturing into the Chinese market, whether to manufacture or to sell your products, be forewarned that China does not enforce international copyright and trademark laws. You should move now to protect your products and your business. The following are some important considerations: 

By David Christopher Baker & Jason Pyrz

Published: January 03, 2008

• Inventory your existing intellectual property.

 It is important to understand what pirates may copy and how they may attempt to circumvent copyright, trademark and patent laws in order to sell the same or very similar products.

• Understand the protection mechanisms available to you.

 U.S. copyright, trademark and patent laws are effective in all 50 states, as well. In addition, there are numerous international laws and protocols that extend some of these protections to foreign countries. However, those same countries also have their own laws, and they do not always seamlessly integrate with U.S. laws. 

• Develop and implement a comprehensive protection plan.

 An effective integrated protection plan generally includes early identification and internal protection, registration, consistent usage, identification of infringers, proper licensing and active enforcement as the key elements. 

Swashbuckling pirates are the things of movies and theme parks. Those of the real variety bear little resemblance to their romantic counterparts, but they can be a real scourge on the high seas of modern international business. OCM 

David Baker is a partner with Hart, King & Coldren (dbaker@hkclaw.com). Jason Pyrz is an associate in the property rights department of Hart, King & Coldren (jpyrz@hkclaw.com).