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Innovating for Sustainability: European Business’s Journey in China

Post Time:2024-04-29 Source:europa.eu Author: Views:

In the context of a rapidly evolving global economy, innovation and creativity play pivotal roles in sustained growth and progress. While tangible assets have been protected by conventional property rights, Intellectual property (IP) is vital to intangible ideas and creations that are the foundation of creativity and innovation.

2024 World IP Day provides an opportunity to reaffirm the significance of IP and unleash the power of innovation and creativity. The innovative Belgian start-up, DentPlanet is specialised in the invention and development of eco-friendly dental products and instruments for public and professional dental applications.  DentPlanet exemplifies how intellectual property (IP) rights can drive innovation and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

DentPlanet: Eco-Friendly Dental Innovations

DentPlanet recognised the environmental impact of dental consumables, particularly the significant import of single-use Class-I dental products from China to the EU. By prioritising the Chinese market, this start-up not only aims to reduce environmental waste but also to tap into one of the world's largest dental markets - China.

DentPlanet & Intellectual Property

For an innovative company like DentPlanet, intellectual property is the foundation of its business strategy. The company's proactive approach to IP began with trademark registration in China in 2022. By understanding China's unique patent system, DentPlanet made a strategic decision to protect the colour and shape of its new invention with a design patent that provides 15 years of protection. To ensure long-term protection, they also will register copyrights, which can be protected for up to 50 years.

Combating IP Infringement

The management of IP issues is an ongoing challenge for innovators. DentPlanet encountered this when they found infringing products on a major e-commerce platform in China. The infringer had altered the product's format and was selling it without consent. DentPlanet took actions, supported by a patent evaluation report, which led to the removal of the infringing link after a 2.5-month process.

A Sustainable Future Through Intellectual Property

As we celebrate World IP Day today, let us reaffirm the importance of leveraging IP rights to protect innovation and maintain competitiveness in the target market for the European companies like DentPlanet.

Intellectual property is power in fostering innovation and sustainability. Strong IPR protection creates a better business environment which encourages innovation and creativity. European businesses still face great challenges when operating in non-EU countries, including inadequate IP rules and enforcement, forced technology transfer and other unfair practices such as forced joint sharing of IP. Therefore, the EU continues to seek to improve the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries, including China.


This article was co-developed by the IP Key China project and the China IP SME Helpdesk.

IP Key China is designed to enhance EU-China cooperation in areas of priority with a special focus on a market access related issue. The IP Key China phase II aims mainly at supporting the endeavours of the EU-China IP Dialogue mechanism and related Working Group meetings.

The China IP SME Helpdesk supports small and medium sized enterprises in the European Union (EU) and the other countries of the Single Market Programme (SMP) to both protect and enforce their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in or relating to Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan through the provision of free information and services. These take the form of jargon-free, first-line, confidential advice on intellectual property and related issues, plus training, materials and online resources.