When see at China’s trade with the rest of global World it’s sometimes helpful to take a step back and notice how much things have modified and changed. Less than half a century previously, there was a very little focus on China’s IP system. Alternatively most were intense on Reform and Opening-Up – the policy introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 to motivate foreign investment and international engaging  in China’s markets. Overseas companies were keen to make use of China’s large and more and more skillful workforce, whilst conceive of one day offering their goods and utility to such a large population. Companies kept a close eye on which sectors opened to their industries, and subsequently moved manufacturing into provinces like Guangdong. China quickly emerged as the ‘workshop of the world’ with booming global world exports, having only 20 years prior been shut off to the rest of the global world.

Just last year, China’s Ministry of Security carried out a string of operations to close down counterfeiters throughout the country. Many UK companies beyond the range of different parts benefitted from the MPS’ actions. Above £15 million worth of fake Castrol lubricants, a brand owned by BP, were seized and the infringers’ operations shut down. Factories selling counterfeit Burberry products were also raided, seizing goods estimated to be worth over £10m. A supply chain of fake Dyson products was disrupt, put a stop to the sale of over £4 million worth of counterfeit piece.

But, it’s dominant to realize that these changes are not solely designed to appease foreign concerns. Improving IP in China is also critical for the development of domestic industries and promoting more innovation and creativity, as well as Chinese companies’ competitiveness. As China moves away from being the “factory of the world” and rebalances its economy towards the development and consumption of services, IP will play an increasingly important role. It is critical as we look to the future that innovative technology companies and service providers can grow and succeed in the Chinese market, which can only be achieved by ensure that their innovative contributions are adequately protected.

We tremendously value the opportunity to share our thoughts and practices with the Chinese government, however these exchanges are also a chance for us to learn from China’s innovative approaches as well, such as in the use of AI for handling trademark applications. We are still eager to learn from UK businesses with interests in China, and how the implementation of all the recent changes looks from their perspective. This not only tell our priorities for collaborating with China, but it also helps to contextualize what these policies look like on the ground. It proceed without saying that 2020 has been a challenging year, but it’s great to see the continuation of positive developments in China’s IP system. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with China in this space, and to strengthen our cooperation even further.