Plight of IP protection in China's furniture industry
By Kevin Nie, Jessie Chen(China IP) (
Updated: 2014-08-19

Nowadays our humanity and personality are gaining more outlets for expression. Furniture has thus surpassed the concept of being a utilitarian necessity and become an important means for the individual to find relaxation and rest after work and to enjoy the warmth and tenderness at home in the midst of family. Therefore, what consumers focus on is no longer limited to just basic functions, but on the elegance of the materials, the exquisiteness of the craftmanship, the uniqueness of style and the brand.

This change of demand has been a new impetus and challenge for the furniture industry. On the one hand, a furniture enterprise needs to continuously make new designs and manufacture products with new styles; on the other hand, it must be alert all the time to easy "plagiarism" of its exclusive designs by its competitors.

Recent years have witnessed an increasingly serious, mutual plagiarism in china's furniture industry, and a frequent occurrence of IP infringement. This has been a malignant tumor to the healthy development of the industry. Meanwhile, a furniture enterprise usually finds it has to face a series of problems such as difficulty in collecting evidence, high litigation costs, low compensation, etc.

Furniture industry is not alone facing such problems. The difficulty in IP protection in this industry is just a miniature of the whole IP protection environment in China at present. It is necessary to have stronger protection of IP in addition to an expectation of an increasingly improving legislation, as well as, consistent, predictable and logical court enforcement. An effective solution to infringement can be achieved if, and only if, a mode of integrated protection based on patent law, trademark law, copyright law, anti-unfair competition law and other laws, is exploited to the utmost in the event of any form of infringement in the furniture industry.

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