It can be prevented as earlier as possible. Started from the sourcing stage when you wanna choose your supplier. If possible, it’s better to work with other foreign companies besides Chinese, because the intellectual property policy in China is still weak. But, if you still want to cooperate with Chinese manufacturers, cooperate with those large manufacturers who export most of their products rather than the smaller or domestic consumption oriented manufacturers.
This is one important thing that sometimes missed by companies. You have to make a clear and detail contract and make sure that your supplier sign it. It’s better to do this before communicating any technical information to anybody.
Take a legal way and consult with lawyer regarding the need to register your intellectual property rights in form of trademark, patent, etc. Don’t worry, it is common for a Chinese company to register a foreign company’s IP.
Make sure you have qualified one factory before giving your product informations to them. Check their references, their legal documents, their capacity, in other words, do some factory audit first. After you are sure enough that this supplier or factory can be trusted, just then you can give your product informations to them. But still, you have to be careful.
The purpose of keeping your supply chain disjointed is to prevent many people acknowledge your whole procurement process. Purchase components from several factories, and keep the final operations separate from the rest of the steps.
There’s 1 good real example regarding this point. One of Sunningdale’s clients, Hewlett-Packard, only supplies them with a certain number of print-heads for the ink cartridges they make for the company. Without an excess of that key component, there is no way Sunningdale can manufacture any surplus ink cartridges.
Place code on your products that has special meaning.
For example, design 2 parts that control each other.
Limit the audience who can see your whole designs. On trade shows, make sure no photos are taken. Use the private communication to inform more about your product in details and in complete.
If you found any suspicious case, make sure that there is a violation before you can try to enforce your IP rights. You may use the smart labeling and make sure that you barcodes can’t be copied.
If your products have been copied, you can use legal way to sue them. Other way, you also can let your country customs to intervene your fight against counterfeit.
Source: Quality Inspection
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