China media and entertainment lawOur Beijing-based entertainment attorney, Mathew Alderson, will be speaking on a panel at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles on January 19th. The panel is entitled “China and Hollywood: Distribution and Censorship in a Cross-Pacific Partnership“.

Mathew’s panel is part of the Southwestern Law School’s 14th Annual Media Law Conference, whose theme this year is: Keeping the Beat in a Crazy Year: Blurred Lines and Border Crossings.

Mathew’s panel will focus on how to work within China’s legal system on new productions and on how to deal with the unique challenges China presents when doing productions there. The event will be moderated by Covington’s Nicholas Francescon. The other panelists will be J. Martin Willhite, General Counsel and COO of Legendary Pictures, and Sheri Jeffrey from Hogan Lovells. The Conference is presented by the Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute and the Media Law Resource Centre.

If you are interested in China media and entertainment law or media and entertainment law generally (particularly IP law), you should go. The conference runs from 1 pm until 7 pm, with the post-event reception scheduled to last until 8 p.m. Go to this link to register.

We hope to see you there.

Cuba investment laws

Of course it’s not, but having just returned from ten days there, I figured I needed to write about it and since this is the China Law Blog (and not the Cuba Law Blog, which url my firm owns!), I figured I would need to get “China” somewhere in the title.

But Cuba does have a lot of similarities to China, at least China two decades ago. I went to Cuba in large part because my firm has an office in Barcelona, Spain, and to our Spanish clients, going into Cuba just is not all that exotic. One quick side note. I went to Barcelona immediately before heading to Cuba to meet with our Spain lawyers there and to give a speech on protecting your IP from China. I probably told a dozen people of how I would be heading to Cuba right from Spain and probably a half dozen of them said something along the lines of how they were worried about how “the Americans are going to spoil it.” After getting back, I share their concerns.

But without further ado, here are my random thoughts on Cuba.

  1. I spent 90 percent of my time in Havana, at an AirBnb in Nuevo Vedado, with a host who spoke maybe ten words of English, but who actually seemed to enjoy speaking with me despite my less than perfect Spanish. This host let me know that though most people in Cuba rely on either God or the government, he — being an engineer — had learned to rely on his own intellect. I also went to Viñales and to Miramar (which is really just a Havana suburb).
  2. I was surprised at how often I was approached on the street by people who simply wanted to use their English and who wanted me to know that “the United States is the best country in the world.”
  3. Pretty much everybody also wanted me to know that they thought Trump was either “crazy” or “interested in just the money.” I heard both of these things so many times that I began to wonder whether the press was saying this.
  4. Speaking of the press, every single person I asked (of all skin colors) insisted that racism had been “eradicated” in Cuba. I wish that were true, but know that it is not, but based on my observations alone (and the huge number of interracial couples and friendships), the situation appears impressive.
  5. Cuba is an incredibly safe city. Every person (including those I trusted) said violent crime is virtually non-existent. Many warned me of pick-pockets as though they were everywhere, but I saw no evidence of that. Nobody seems to hesitate to walk alone at night, anywhere.
  6. The food was much better than I expected. I would describe it as very good, but not amazing. The two best restaurants were Atelier (where President Obama went) and La Guarida (where every celebrity goes. As evidence of their standing, these were the only two restaurants that had Diet Coke.
  7. You cannot use your American credit cards anywhere, and I suspect this is because no American bank will run them through. Yet.
  8. The Internet is terrible in Cuba. Terrible. It literally went out for a day, pretty much everywhere in Havana, including the airport. The only fast Internet I found was in the business center at the Hotel Nacional. Second best was at the Melia Hotels.
  9. The grocery stores are not well stacked. At all.
  10. Many small businesses are springing up.
  11. Some of the people with whom I spoke had nothing but good things to say about Cuba. Some told me that 75-80 percent of the people eat pretty much nothing but rice and beans and eggs and bread, all of which are really really cheap, but most every other sort of food is not.
  12. Most of the foreign investment in Cuba is from Spanish companies, but Canadian, Mexican and other Latin American companies are there as well, with China seeming to be accelerating its investments too, especially in building new hotels.
  13. Things do not happen on American time. We wanted to go to Trinidad one day and the taxi driver with whom I had made the arrangements and confirmed multiple times showed up 45 minutes late and with a different car, one that was way way way too small. So we had to adapt. There is a lot of that in Cuba. I can remember only one meal where the restaurant had everything we ordered off the menu.
  14. Jose Marti Airport has five terminals, spread throughout the city. At least two are international terminals, so know before you go.
  15. Cuba’s foreign investment regime makes China’s seem like a can of corn (figured I had to get in a baseball reference somewhere).

The question everyone asks me is whether they should go to Cuba and, if so, when. My answer is as follows:

Most emphatically yes. The people are great. The scenery is great. The buildings are great. The cars are great. The food is good. The place is safe and great for walking. But do not go there expecting Paris because you will be disappointed. And I cannot stress enough how you have to be prepared for no internet and no credit cards. Bring a lot of money and bring a guidebook. Multiple times people would see us with our guidebook and plaintively ask us where we got it, and then when we told them the U.S. they would ask to take pictures of certain pages. Oh, and go now before the Americans spoil it.

 

China Legal HolidaysLike pretty much everything else related to China employment law issues, the rest (or not) schedule for national holidays is a bit more complicated than one would think. For example, employees get a couple of long breaks but usually have to make up the time on a weekend, so the actual days off are shorter than they at first appear. This concept of “making up the time for a legal holiday” (节假日调休) for purposes of having a (superficial) long break is unique in China and as with so many other aspects of China employment law, is quite different from the U.S. or the European systems.

Per the PRC State Council’s recent notice, the national holidays for 2017 will include the following: New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Tomb sweeping day, Labor day, Dragon boat festival, Mid-autumn festival and National day. Specifically:

  • New Year’s Day: A one-day holiday. As January 1 falls on a Sunday, China employees will get January their day off on Monday, January 2. 
  • Spring Festival (aka the Chinese New Year): A three-day holiday, i.e., the first three days of Chinese New Year according to the lunar calendar. China employees will get a long break: from January 27 through February 2, however, they will have to work on January 22 (Sunday) and February 4 (Saturday), unless their employers provide a more generous time-off policy (e.g., per the employer rules and regulations).
  • Tomb sweeping day: A one-day holiday and the specific date will be according to the lunar calendar. China employees will get April 2-4 off, but will have to work on April 1st (Saturday).
  • Labor day: A one-day holiday: May 1st. Employees will get 3 days off: April 29, 30, May 1st. Note however April 29 and 30 are rest days so it’s really just one day off.
  • Dragon Boat Festival: A one-day holiday and the specific date will be according to the lunar calendar. Employees will get May 2829 and 30 off, but will have to work on May 27 (Saturday).
  • Mid-Autumn Festival: A one-day holiday and the specific date will be according to the lunar calendar) (Three days—October 1, 2 and 3). This Festival will be combined with National Day in 2017, meaning that China employees will get a long break from October 1 through 8, but will have to work on September 30 (Saturday).

Bottom line: As a China employer, if possible, do not have your employees work on a legal holiday.

 

China Lawyers

 

From all of us, to all of you,

Happy Hanukkah, Festivus, Kwanza, and Winter Solstice, and Merry Christmas too!

ENJOY the season/holidays!

Cómo proteger su IP en China y de ChinaLa mañana (viernes, 16 de diciembre) daré una charla en una de mis ciudades favoritas y sobre uno de los temas que más me apasionan: Cómo proteger su IP en China y de China. Esta ponencia se enfocará en la protección de la propiedad intelectual relacionada con el hardware y los productos del Internet de las Cosas (IoT), pero tendrá una aplicación homogénea a casi cualquier producto o servicio. Pulse aquí para registrarse.

Mi ponencia es un Hardware Massive-Barcelona Event (un grupo verdaderamente maravilloso – con el que tuve la oportunidad de realizar una ponencia en el Hardware Massive de Shenzhen justo el mes pasado). Hardware Massive describe el evento de la siguiente manera:

Descripción de la Ponencia: Ya sea produciendo o bien vendiendo productos en China, las compañías extranjeras que establecen negocios en o con China necesitan saber cómo proteger su tecnología y su propiedad intelectual para evitar que ésta sea falsificada, pirateada o malversada. Hay riesgos sustanciales que las compañías deben identificar y encarar para proteger sus valiosos activos en IP. Entender el mundo de la IP en China y cómo defender sus derechos e intereses puede ser una excelente apuesta a largo plazo.

Un artículo reciente publicado en Quartz Magazine estableció que la mejor forma de enfrentarse el robo de la IP en China es básicamente no hacer nada, ya que hay muy poco que uno pueda hacer al respecto. Algunas compañías chinas harán todo lo posible para apropiarse de su IP, y nuestro ponente no discutirá dicha realidad . Pero, en lugar de quedarse sentado viendo como alguien se apropia de sus ideas, Dan, de forma práctica y vehemente sostiene que si se toman los pasos legales adecuados, Usted puede proteger su IP de forma efectiva: no tiene sentido pasar por todo lo que implica crear y desarrollar su producto sólo para regalarlo. En su ponencia, Dan explicará formas de proteger su IP en China y de China. Proveerá métodos que son factibles y que de hecho funcionan, incluso para las “Startups” que se atreven a fabricar en China por primera vez.

La agenda del evento es la siguiente:

17:45-18:00: Inscripción y Networking

18:00-18:10: Introducción por Ignasi Pascual

18:10-19:00: Dan Harris: “Cómo proteger su IP en China” con sesión de preguntas y respuestas.

19:00-20:00: Bebidas con networking y turno de preguntas

 

Para mayor información acerca de este evento, por favor diríjase aquí.

¡Espero verle!

 

Barcelona hardware IPTomorrow (Friday, December 16), I will be speaking in one of my favorite cities on one of my favorite topics: How to protect your IP in and from China. Though I plan to focus on protecting intellectual property related to hardware and Internet of Things Products (IoT), my talk will apply to pretty much any product or service. If you are interested in attending, please go here to register. There is no charge!

My talk is a Hardware Massive- Barcelona Event and Hardware Massive describes it as follows:

 

Talk Description:  Whether producing goods in China or selling to the Chinese market, foreign companies that engage in business with China need to know how to protect their technology and other intellectual property from being counterfeited, pirated, or otherwise misappropriated. There are substantial risks companies must identify and address to protect their valuable IP assets. Deals made in China can threaten IP rights not just in China, but in markets around the world. Understanding the Chinese IP landscape and how to manage the pertinent issues can go a long way to safeguarding your valuable IP interests.

A recent Quartz Magazine story stated that the best way to deal with China IP theft is basically to enjoy it because there is little you can do about it. Chinese companies will do everything they can to relieve you of your IP, and our speaker does not dispute that. But instead of just allowing your IP to be taken, Dan vehemently contends that your taking just a few rather basic legal steps can protect your IP. It doesn’t make sense for you to go through all the trouble to create and develop your product just to give it away. In his talk, Dan will discuss ways to protect your IP in and from China. He will provide methods that are doable and that actually work, even for startups having their products made in China.

The event agenda is as follows:
17:45-18:00: Registration & Networking
18:00-18:10: Opening Remarks by Ignasi Pascual
18:10-19:00: Dan Harris: “How to Protect your IP from China” w/ Q&A’s
19:00-20:00: Drinks w/ Networking and 1-on-1 questions

For more information and to sign up, please go here.

I hope to see you there!

 

Cómo proteger su IP en China y de China

El próximo 16 de diciembre daré una charla en una de mis ciudades favoritas y sobre uno de los temas que más me apasionan: Cómo proteger su IP en China y de China. Esta ponencia se enfocará en la protección de la propiedad intelectual relacionada con el hardware y los productos del Internet de las Cosas (IoT), pero tendrá una aplicación homogénea a casi cualquier producto o servicio. Pulse aquí para registrarse.

Mi ponencia es un Hardware Massive Event (un grupo verdaderamente maravilloso – con el que tuve la oportunidad de realizar una ponencia en el Hardware Massive de Shenzhen justo el mes pasado). Hardware Massive describe el evento de la siguiente manera:

Nuestro destacado ponente será Dan Harris, miembro fundador de Harris Bricken (www.harrisbricken.com), un firma internacional de abogados con oficinas en Seattle, Barcelona, Beijing, Portland y San Francisco que se centra en representar a nivel internacional a compañías europeas y estadounidenses, así como a compañías extranjeras (incluyendo empresas chinas) en los Estados Unidos. Dan publica y expone con asiduidad sobre derecho internacional, con un enfoque en la protección de los negocios extranjeros y sus operaciones internacionales. También es un bloguero prolífico ampliamente seguido, y publica como co-autor el premiado blog “China Law Blog”. www.chinalawblog.com

Dan ha sido entrevistado sobre asuntos relacionados con el derecho internacional por la Revista Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CBC, BBC World, Revista Forbes y CNN, entre otros. Varios de sus artículos sobre derecho internacional se publicaron en revistas líderes como el Wall Street Journal, el Bloomberg Law Reports, Forbes Magazine y el National Law Journal.

Descripción de la Ponencia: Ya sea produciendo o bien vendiendo productos en China, las compañías extranjeras que establecen negocios en o con China necesitan saber cómo proteger su tecnología y su propiedad intelectual para evitar que ésta sea falsificada, pirateada o malversada. Hay riesgos sustanciales que las compañías deben identificar y encarar para proteger sus valiosos activos en IP. Entender el mundo de la IP en China y cómo defender sus derechos e intereses puede ser una excelente apuesta a largo plazo.

 

Un artículo reciente publicado en Quartz Magazine estableció que la mejor forma de enfrentarse el robo de la IP en China es básicamente no hacer nada, ya que hay muy poco que uno pueda hacer al respecto. Algunas compañías chinas harán todo lo posible para apropiarse de su IP, y nuestro ponente no discutirá dicha realidad . Pero, en lugar de quedarse sentado viendo como alguien se apropia de sus ideas, Dan, de forma práctica y vehemente sostiene que si se toman los pasos legales adecuados, Usted puede proteger su IP de forma efectiva: no tiene sentido pasar por todo lo que implica crear y desarrollar su producto sólo para regalarlo. En su ponencia, Dan explicará formas de proteger su IP en China y de China. Proveerá métodos que son factibles y que de hecho funcionan, incluso para las “Startups” que se atreven a fabricar en China por primera vez.

La agenda del evento es la siguiente:

17:45-18:00: Inscripción y Networking

18:00-18:10: Introducción por Ignasi Pascual

18:10-19:00: Dan Harris: “Cómo proteger su IP en China” con sesión de preguntas y respuestas.

19:00-20:00: Bebidas con networking y turno de preguntas

Para mayor información acerca de este evento, por favor diríjase aquí. ¡Espero verle!

 

Barcelona hardware IPOn December 16, I will be speaking in one of my favorite cities on one of my favorite topics: How to protect your IP in and from China. My talk will focus on protecting intellectual property related to hardware and Internet of Things Products (IoT), but it will have uniform application to pretty much any product or service. Go here to register.

My talk is a Hardware Massive Event (a truly great group — I spoke at Hardware Massive-Shenzhen just last month), and Hardware Massive describes it as follows:

Our featured speaker will be Dan Harris, the founding member of Harris Bricken (www.harrisbricken.com), an international law firm with offices in Seattle, Barcelona, Beijing, Portland, and San Francisco that focuses on representing European and American companies overseas and foreign (including Chinese companies) in the US. Dan writes and speaks extensively on international law, with a focus on protecting foreign businesses in their overseas operations. He is also a prolific and widely followed blogger, writing as the co-author of the award-winning China Law Blog. www.chinalawblog.com

Dan has been interviewed on international law issues by Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CBC, BBC World, Forbes Magazine, and CNN, among others. A number of his articles on international law have been published in leading publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Law Reports, Forbes Magazine, and the National Law Journal.

Talk Description:  Whether producing goods in China or selling to the Chinese market, foreign companies that engage in business with China need to know how to protect their technology and other intellectual property from being counterfeited, pirated, or otherwise misappropriated. There are substantial risks companies must identify and address to protect their valuable IP assets. Deals made in China can threaten IP rights not just in China, but in markets around the world. Understanding the Chinese IP landscape and how to manage the pertinent issues can go a long way to safeguarding your valuable IP interests.

A recent Quartz Magazine story stated that the best way to deal with China IP theft is basically to enjoy it because there is little you can do about it. Chinese companies will do everything they can to relieve you of your IP, and our speaker does not dispute that. But instead of just allowing your IP to be taken, Dan vehemently contends that your taking just a few rather basic legal steps can protect your IP. It doesn’t make sense for you to go through all the trouble to create and develop your product just to give it away. In his talk, Dan will discuss ways to protect your IP in and from China. He will provide methods that are doable and that actually work, even for startups having their products made in China.

The event agenda is as follows:
17:45-18:00: Registration & Networking
18:00-18:10: Opening Remarks by Ignasi Pascual
18:10-19:00: Dan Harris: “How to Protect your IP from China” w/ Q&A’s
19:00-20:00: Drinks w/ Networking and 1-on-1 questions

 

For more information about this event, please go here. I hope to see you there!

 

China lawyersOn this Thanksgiving Day, we want to take a time out to express those things related to China for which we are thankful. Just to be clear, we are focusing on China, not because we think China takes priority over everything else (because it does not), but merely because this is a China blog. So with that caveat, here goes:

1. We are thankful for our readers, here and on our Linkedin and Facebook pages. We are thankful for your loyalty and we are especially thankful for being able to interact with you. We are thankful for your comments and your emails, from which we learn all sorts of new things and from which we are challenged. But most of all, we are thankful and we are honored that you trust us for your information. Before we even started this blog, way back in January, 2006, we wrote the following Mission Statement for it:

We want to start a conversation with, for and about the person who wants practical information on starting and growing a business in or involved with China.

We will be challenging various misconceptions the West has about law in China, including that the law in China does not really matter or that guanxi can supplant it. We will help you figure out how you can use the law as both a shield and a sword. We will give insights to achieve practical solutions, while doing our best to entertain. We know lawyers are not popular, and though we are ourselves really quite likable, we recognize the need to avoid those things that incite lawyer hatred. We will strive to avoid legal jargon and namby-pamby language that attempts to camouflage our views or to avoid controversy.

We want our blog to be a place for both conversation and controversy. We expect many of you will disagree with us much of the time and we are fine with that. We will always strive to avoid boring you or being unwilling to take a stand. We are not going to be afraid of being wrong—in fact, we want you to tell us when and how we are wrong. If you want “legalese” or long strings of caveats, you are going to have to pay exorbitant legal fees to get that elsewhere.

We will tell you more than just that the law is this and this is what needs to be done to comply. We will discuss how the laws as written may say one thing, but our experience dictates something else. We will tell you when you need to do more than just follow the law to succeed, and we will set out exactly what that something else is. We will regale you with stories about the Chinese lawyers with whom we work, the foreign and Chinese businesspeople with whom we deal, and even the places we go. There will be times where our lawyer ethical rules will make us unable to name names, but we will always work to tell the full story.

It has become a blog cliché to implore readers for their input, but it is so important we must join the crowd on this. We do not purport to know everything about Chinese law. That is impossible. Our strengths are forming companies in Chinadrafting international contracts with Chinese companies (in English and in Chinese), intellectual property protection and international litigation and arbitration. We welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas on any area of law relating to conducting business in China. China is anything but monolithic and we will be relying in large part on you, our readers, to round out this site with your own stories.

In plain language, we ask that you write us early and often. We will review your comments before we post them, but that does NOT mean you should not criticize us or disagree with us. Our review will be to filter out comments that are without substance and/or personally abusive. We want to encourage a high level of discussion, but we will not ban or delete your comments just because you come after us.

You, our readers, have exceeded our wildest dreams by not only commenting often, but commenting with intelligence.

2. We are thankful that whenever relations between the United States seem to be on the brink, both countries seem to re-realize the importance of the other and pull back, even if just a little.

3. We are thankful for each and every award we have received, both as China bloggers and as China lawyers because we know none of those would have been possible without you.

4. Most of all, we are thankful for all the great friends we have made through this blog and through our work, who are far far far too numerous to mention. You are our everything.

Again, thank you from all of us (both in the U.S. and in China) to all of you!

May each and every one of you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

China IP Seminar in ShenzhenOn Tuesday, November 1 and Wednesday, November 2, Dan Harris and Steve Dickinson will be speaking in Shenzhen on hardware manufacturing and how to protect your hardware IP from China.

The November 1 event will be at HAX Headquarters, located at the Huaqiang Electronics Market, Building 2, 8F, in the Futian District of Shenzhen. It will start at 6:30 PM and end at 9:00 PM and it will be free, but please go here to register and to learn more.

HAX describes this event as follows:

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT PROTECTING YOUR PRODUCT IN CHINA…but were afraid somebody might notice you were not doing it right.

China is a notoriously dangerous place to manufacture, because you can be copied really fast by competitors and sometimes even by your own production partners.

HAX is welcoming Steve Dickinson and Dan Harris of China Law Blog fame, the world’s leading law blog about China, IP, contracts and more. They work with the Harris Bricken Law Firm and have decades of experience helping their clients avoid the usual pitfalls of dealing with Chinese OEMs.

This meet-up is a chance to connect with fellow makers, HAX staff and startup teams and meet with the broader hardware startup community. It is open to hardware startups, investors, media and general hardware enthusiasts.

The agenda for this event will be as follows:

6:30pm: Doors open
7:00pm: HAX Intro
7:15pm: Talk: Protecting Your Product in China
7:45pm: Discussion + Q&A
8:15pm: HAX visit + Networking
9:30pm: End

The next night, Wednesday, November 2, we will be speaking again as part of “a very special Hardware Massive Shenzhen event” at Sino-Finnish Design Park, Room 113, 1st Floor, B4 Building, Sino-Finnish Design Park, Fantasia Funian Plaza, Futian Free Trade Zone 深圳市福田保税区花样年·福年广场,中芬设计园B4栋1楼113室. Hardware Massive describes this event as follows:

We are fortunate to have join us Dan Harris & Steve Dickinson, both from Harris Bricken law firm and the China Law Blog, who are flying in to speak to our group. They will discuss “How to protect your IP in and from China.”

Their China Law Blog is regarded as one of the best law blogs on the web today. The ABA Journal recently named the China Law Blog to its Blawg Hall of Fame (a designation given to the top 20 law blogs of all time).

• Speaker #1 – Dan Harris
Dan Harris is the founding member of Harris Bricken, an international law boutique law firm based in Seattle that focuses on representing American companies overseas and foreign (including Chinese companies) in the US. Dan writes and speaks extensively on international law, with a focus on protecting foreign businesses in their overseas operations. He is also a prolific and widely followed blogger, writing as the co-author of the award-winning China Law Blog. www.chinalawblog.com

• Speaker #2 – Steve Dickinson
Steve Dickinson is an Attorney with Harris Bricken, and also the co-author of the China Law Blog. Steve was named one of Washington State’s “5 Most Amazing Attorneys” by Washington CEO Magazine and he was also named one of only three “Washington State Amazing Lawyers” in International Law. harrisbricken.com

• Talk Description:
Whether producing goods in China or selling to the Chinese market, foreign companies that engage in business with China need to know how to protect their technology and other intellectual property from being counterfeited, pirated, or otherwise misappropriated. There are substantial risks companies must identify and address to protect their valuable IP assets. Deals made in China can threaten IP rights not just in China, but in markets around the world. Understanding the Chinese IP landscape and how to manage the pertinent issues can go a long way to safeguarding your valuable IP interests.

The Agenda for this event is as follows:

6:30pm Networking with Beer & Pizza
7:00pm Opening Announcements, Demos & Pitches
7:45pm Networking with Beer & Pizza
8:00pm Dan & Steve’s Talk w/ Q&A
9:00pm Networking with Beer & Pizza

Go here to register or to learn more about our Wednesday talk at Hardware Massive and go here to register or learn more about our Tuesday talk at HAX.

We look forward to seeing you in Shenzhen!