The author finds that cases in which companies expended vast amounts of time and energy in dealing with disputes and controversies after their IP protection strategy had sprung a leak continue to arise. Many companies do not attach great importance to an IP strategy. What follows will mainly take trademark protection as an example to again discuss the importance of a strategy for protecting IP in China in light of cases the author has encountered recently.
First is a little story. Bian Que is a famous doctor of ancient times in China, widely known for his superlative medical skills. However, Bian Que commented on his medical skill, “my eldest brother is the best, my middle brother is second to him, and I am far behind them.” Bian Que stated that his eldest brother started treating a patient before its onset, but the average person was unaware that he could eradicate the cause of an illness in advance, so his repute failed to spread.
His middle brother treated an illness at its very onset, such that the average person thought that he could only treat minor ailments. Whereas he, Bian Que, treated an illness when the patient’s condition was serious, so everyone believed that Bian Que had superlative medical skills and his repute spread far and wide. In fact, what Bian Que was talking about is the principle of “one ounce of prevention is worth one pound of cure”, i.e., preventing a disease is more important than treating it after its onset.
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Frank Liu is a partner at Jincheng Tongda & Neal
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