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Thursday Jan 18, 2024

Support for protecting and enforcing your IP in China

Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO

Director Vidal at China IP roadshow event

Director Vidal spoke with local entrepreneurs and business owners at the China IP Road Show in San Diego. The road show is one of several USPTO tools and programs for U.S. entities doing business in China.

Since the start of my tenure as Director in spring 2022, protecting and enforcing intellectual property (IP) rights in China has been an essential part of our agency efforts to strengthen the global IP system. U.S. businesses operating in China regularly cite insufficient protection and enforcement of IP as a top concern, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has placed China on its “priority watch” list for over a decade, detailing a long list of IP concerns reported by U.S. businesses operating in China.

I am committed to promoting a level playing field for U.S. rights holders in China and providing insight on the unique challenges they face. We are fortunate to have a USPTO team of attorneys and IP experts focused on China. The China team includes over a dozen stateside IP attorneys and three IP attachés and legal staff in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, China. These experts engage with other federal agencies, U.S. stakeholders, and their Chinese government counterparts to advocate for U.S. rights holders doing business in and exporting to China.

China IPR tookit logo

We offer an array of valuable tools for doing business in China, including the recently updated China IPR Toolkit. Designed especially for small and medium-sized businesses, the revised toolkit offers an in-depth look at the IP environment in China, including the avenues for protection and enforcement.

It can be difficult to do business in China. The China IPR Toolkit can serve as a helpful first stop on that journey. It is available as a free download from the USPTO website.

I’ve seen first-hand American businesses working to educate themselves on China IP. In October, I joined private sector and government experts in San Diego at the USPTO China IP Roadshow. These one-day, in-person events held around the country detail for local entrepreneurs and businesses how they can protect and enforce their IP in China. They are tailored to their specific locales, taking into account the leading local industries—biotech, manufacturing, agriculture, or the creative industries, to name a few. We bring in experts who can address the particular challenges faced by these businesses. We also offer the expertise and knowledge of the USPTO’s China IP specialists, local businesspeople, and IP experts.

Since 2017, we’ve held more than 30 China IP Road Show events in every corner of the country. To learn more about past and upcoming China IP Road Shows, visit the USPTO website.

In our work, I’m grateful for the leadership of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Secretary Raimondo traveled to Beijing and Shanghai last year to meet with her Chinese government counterparts and representatives of leading U.S. businesses operating in China. She and China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao agreed that U.S. and Chinese subject matter experts will hold technical discussions regarding strengthening the protection of trade secrets and confidential business information during administrative licensing proceedings in China. To facilitate that initiative, I have made the USPTO’s China IP experts available to support it and any other related IP initiatives that develop.

The China IPR Toolkit and the China IP Road Shows are just two of a number of initiatives spearheaded by our China team. I encourage you to visit the China IP page of our website to see the resources we offer, and sign up for future road shows and webinars.  

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