How a China Strategy is the Keystone to Counteracting Counterfeit Globally


In the global fight against counterfeit goods, a China-centric strategy stands as a critical linchpin. For businesses aiming for global reach, the protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights in China are not just a local necessity but a global strategy. Understanding and navigating China’s IP landscape is fundamental to safeguarding a company’s interests both within and beyond its borders.


The Global Impact of China’s IP Framework

The prominence of China in the spheres of global manufacturing and e-commerce elevates its Intellectual Property (IP) system to a critical position in the international fight against counterfeit products. By establishing and robustly enforcing IP rights within China, companies are able to effectively confront and diminish the flow of counterfeit goods from one of their primary sources. This strategic action not only secures their market share but also upholds the integrity of their brand on a worldwide scale. As China continues to influence global trade dynamics, the proper management of IP rights in this jurisdiction becomes an indispensable tool for businesses aiming to maintain a competitive edge in the global market.


Deciphering China’s Patent System

The Chinese patent system is categorized into three distinct types: Invention, Utility Model, and Design patents. Navigating this system is vital for businesses, as China operates under a “first-to-file” system, markedly different from the “first-to-invent” models found in many other countries. By actively registering these patents, companies can preemptively close off one of the primary channels that counterfeiters often exploit on a global scale. This proactive approach not only sets up a legal framework for protection in China, but it also sets a standard that strengthens the company’s IP defense internationally. This shows how global markets are connected and how protecting IP rights in a major manufacturing hub like China can have a ripple effect on other countries.


Trademark Protection in a First-to-File System

China’s treatment of trademarks, which is based on a first-to-file system, accentuates the urgency for businesses to take swift action in securing their brand trademarks. This proactive registration in China is not just a local necessity but a strategic move in safeguarding the brand’s identity on a global stage. It should also be pointed out that direct trademark applications in China gives you better protection and are handled much faster than international application, as China has its own trademark system with its own trademark classes with many product and service types not included in other countries.

By prioritzing securing trademarks in one of the world’s largest markets applying directly in China, companies more effectively deter counterfeiters from using their brand names, thereby protecting their reputation and ensuring consistency in brand perception across international markets. This approach forms a significant part of a broader global strategy to maintain brand integrity and combat counterfeit products worldwide.


Leveraging Chinese Customs for Global Impact

Registering intellectual property (IP) with Chinese customs is a move with significant global repercussions. It empowers authorities to intercept and seize counterfeit products at one of their primary points of exit, effectively curbing their distribution across international borders. This strategic action not only disrupts the supply chain of counterfeit goods but also sends a strong message to counterfeiters about the seriousness of IP enforcement. By tackling the issue at its source, businesses can significantly reduce the proliferation of counterfeit products globally, thereby protecting their market share and upholding the integrity of their brand on an international scale.


Enforceable Contracts: A Pillar of IP Protection

In the Chinese market, crafting contracts that are aligned with the local legal landscape, especially NNN (Non-Disclosure, Non-Use, Non-Circumvention) agreements, is critical. These contracts act as a formidable barrier against the illicit use and dissemination of intellectual property, a key factor in preserving a business’s competitive edge not just in China but globally. The effectiveness of these contracts extends beyond local boundaries, as they provide a legal framework that supports global IP strategies, ensuring that the innovations and brand identity are safeguarded across different markets. This approach underscores the importance of understanding and adapting to the legal nuances of each market, particularly in a globally influential country like China.


Tackling Counterfeits on Chinese Digital Platforms

Actively overseeing and responding to IP violations on major Chinese e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and has far-reaching global effects. By effectively managing the spread of counterfeit products in these extensive online marketplaces, businesses not only protect their brand within China but also substantially minimize the risk of these counterfeits infiltrating international markets. This proactive approach on Chinese digital platforms acts as a frontline defense, curtailing the global flow of counterfeit goods, and thereby preserving the integrity and value of the original products and trademarks on a worldwide scale.


Legal Recourse within China: A Global Defense

Owning and actively enforcing patents and trademarks within China provides companies with essential legal mechanisms to confront IP infringements at their source. This strategy is crucial for upholding market integrity within China and acts as a pivotal move in the broader international arena. By taking legal action within Chinese jurisdiction, businesses are able to effectively neutralize threats to their IP, setting a precedent that resonates beyond China’s borders. This approach serves as a deterrent against potential counterfeiters globally, safeguarding the business’s market share and reputation worldwide.



A robust China strategy is fundamental in the global effort to counteract counterfeit goods. Businesses can greatly reduce the spread of fake goods around the world by learning about and using China’s intellectual property system, following its rules, making contracts that are specific to China, and actively managing infringements on e-commerce platforms. This approach not only protects their interests within China but also fortifies their position in the global market, showcasing how China’s IP strategy is integral to global anti-counterfeiting efforts.



  1. Why is a China-centric IP strategy crucial for global anti-counterfeiting efforts? A China-centric IP strategy is essential because China is a major player in global manufacturing and e-commerce. By securing and enforcing IP rights in China, companies can address the issue of counterfeit goods at one of their primary sources, thus protecting their interests worldwide.
  2. How does China’s patent system impact global IP protection? China’s “first-to-file” patent system means that securing patents in China is crucial for global IP protection. By obtaining Invention, Utility Model, and Design patents in China, companies can prevent counterfeiters from exploiting these rights, impacting the global market.
  3. What role do trademarks play in a China strategy against counterfeiting? Since China operates on a first-to-file system for trademarks, securing trademarks in China is a preemptive move to protect a brand’s identity not just in China, but globally. Timely registration is key to preventing misuse and counterfeiting of the brand.
  4. How can Chinese customs be leveraged in the fight against counterfeit goods? By registering IP with Chinese customs, businesses can intercept counterfeit products at a major point of exit. This not only limits the spread of counterfeit goods within China but also globally.
  5. What is the significance of NNN contracts in China for global IP protection? NNN contracts in China are vital for global IP protection as they prevent unauthorized use and distribution of a company’s IP by Chinese partners. These enforceable contracts help maintain a company’s competitive edge both in China and in the global market.
  6. How does tackling counterfeit products on Chinese e-commerce platforms affect the global market? Actively managing IP infringements on platforms like Taobao and helps reduce the global proliferation of counterfeit goods. These platforms are massive and influential, so controlling counterfeits here has significant global implications.
  7. Why is legal enforcement within China important for global IP protection? Holding and enforcing patents and trademarks in China provides businesses with legal means to address infringements at their source. This approach protects the market integrity within China and serves as a strategic defense globally.
  8. Can a company’s global IP strategy be affected if they ignore China’s IP laws? Yes, ignoring China’s IP laws can have detrimental effects on a company’s global IP strategy. China’s pivotal role in global commerce means that weaknesses in IP protection in China can lead to widespread counterfeiting and brand dilution globally.


Contact us if you need legal help in China, like drafting effective cease and desist letters, drafting contracts that follow Chinese law and are enforceable in China, background investigation of Chinese companies, protecting patents, trademarks, copyright, and verification of contracts to the law in China, help with trade and IP disputes in China, etc.

If you require our assistance or have further questions about our services, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Relationship Manager, Jan Erik Christensen, at We look forward to hearing from you and helping your business succeed in China.



Contact us if you need help with drafting of contracts that follows Chinese laws and are enforceable in China, background investigation of Chinese companiesprotecting patents, trademarks, verification of contracts to the law in China, or help with other legal challenges that you have in China.

If you require our assistance or have further questions about our services, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Relationship Managers Jan Erik Christensen, at  or Milla Chen, at We look forward to hearing from you and helping your business succeed in China.