Does a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) protect my intellectual property (IP)?

I will be searching for a mfg to create an “invention: of mine. It will be a new creation. Would a non-compete agreement be effective if I’m dealing with a Chinese mfg? If not, how can I protect my invention?

There is no downside to having an NDA in place. At the very least, it shows the suppliers you are serious about IP.  The problem is that suppliers are hard to monitor and violations are hard to prove.  Say your supplier sends your idea to their cousin in the next town over… good luck proving it in a Chinese court.  However, if your IP is registered by you in China, then it is a totally different story. You will have the system on your side.

The good news is that registering IP in China is fairly straight forward and very affordable.   I would be happy to introduce you and readers of the blog to the lawyers I use.

Another way to protect your IP is to set up a black box assembly in China. Here is how my sourcing agency structures such a service:

For your general reference, since you are looking for suppliers, here are some short video tutorials that may be of interest to you:

Video 1: Finding Suppliers
Video 2: Evaluating Suppliers
Video 3: Negotiations
Video 4: Project Management and Quality Control
Video 5: Protecting Your Intellectual Property
Video 6: Leveraging Global Sources
Video 7: How to Find and Manage Partners for Logistics
Video 8: Avoiding Scams
Video 9: Returning Defective Products
Video 10: Resolving a Dispute


Question answered by Mike Bellamy.

Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center ( Author of “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.

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