Smart strategies for protecting your IP at exhibitions and fairs

By Vincent Mu, Chloe Lin, Martin Hu & Partners

With the development of corporate marketing philosophies, modern transport and media communication, trade fairs have increasingly become an important platform for enterprises to exhibit their wares and strengths, and uncover potential customers. However, crowded trade fairs are also often used by shady merchants to infringe upon others’ intellectual property (IP).

牟笛 Vincent Mu 胡光律师事务所 资深律师 Senior Associate Martin Hu & Partners
Vincent Mu
Senior Associate
Martin Hu & Partners

As exhibitions are normally of short duration, it is usually difficult for IP owners to respond appropriately within a short period of time. Additionally, as China currently lacks legislation for the protection of IP at exhibitions, the securing of effective remedies is also difficult. Accordingly, rights holders generally will institute a legal action to safeguard their rights only after the end of an exhibition.

However, based on our experience in handling such cases, IP owners can adopt appropriate tactics during an exhibition on the strength of ample before-the-fact preparation to resolve such “quasi-disputes”. And even if it is ultimately necessary to decide the matter in court, the appropriate strategy during an exhibition can assist the rights holder in prevailing at trial.

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