Chinese Ministry of Commerce officials to visit SLC

By Joanne Meng, Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development

On Monday September 24, WTC Utah, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Salt Lake Chamber will be host the Chinese Ministry of Commerce for a China-U.S. IPR Roundtable.

Below is commentary from the US Department of Commerce in relation to China and IPR (from

Since joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, China has strengthened its legal framework and amended its IPR and related regulations to comply with the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). Despite stronger statutory protection, China continues to be a haven for counterfeiters and pirates.

Though China is a party to various international agreements to protect intellectual property (including WIPO, Bern Convention, Paris Convention, among others), a company must register its patents and trademarks with the appropriate Chinese agencies and authorities for those rights to be enforceable in China. Copyrights do not need to be registered but registration may be helpful in enforcement actions.

When a U.S. company encounters blatant infringement of its IPR, the right holder should hire local counsel and pursue a preliminary investigation on one’s own or through a contracted professional firm, keeping in mind that U.S. companies should ensure compliance with Chinese law, which restricts private investigation to certain forms of “market research” investigations. Once the initial investigation is complete, the company should determine if further action and possible costs related with such actions are worth pursuing. Once a company decides to pursue a remedy, the U.S. Department of Commerce, through the Washington DC or China-based offices will monitor the case, if requested to do so by the company. The U.S. Government cannot intervene in the case, however can inquire about its status or contact government officials about concerns related to the effective administration of legal remedies available to IP holders.

As China’s WTO accession promises greater market access and a more predictable commercial environment, there are many potential pitfalls companies should be aware of. The China-US IPR Roundtable will give an overview of China’s latest progress on trademark protection in addition to its recent progress on copyright and patent protection.

To RSVP for the China-US IPR Roundtable event on September 24 from 9:30am-12:00pm, please contact Sheila Steiner at

Funded in part through a grant award with the U.S. Small Business Administration