April 26 marked the World Intellectual Property Day.
Created in 2000 as a celebration of creativity and innovations, its main purpose it to raise awareness on protecting contributions made by innovators and creators worldwide. This day raises the sensitive topic of IP protection in Asia.
It’s no secret that developing and producing innovations in China exposes those products to be copied and manufactured by unscrupulous factories. Unfortunately, there’s no way to totally stop it. As local enforcement stops one factory, another one will take over. This a problem that many entrepreneurs and multinational companies have faced over the years (ie. DANONE vs WAHAHA in 2007 or Eames design chairs since the Scandinavian boom).
The solution in China
The only option is to get a local firm that will use their knowledge, network and investigating skills to find the factories copying and producing the protected items. They will then alert the local authorities and process to stop production and to the destruction of copied items as well as the production equipment.
Local (Alibaba) and international companies (Cypheme) are creating tools to protect IP whether on e-commerce websites or through a smartphone. Some companies are developing software and equipment to track the IP items through the blockchain technology.