EDITO FEBRUARY 2019 – First year of the DALDEWOLF China Desk

The year of the dog was the very first of the DALDEWOLF China Desk and with the year of the pig about to start, it is with enthusiasm that we look back at these first months of China practice within the firm.
2018 was a time of intense development during which we talked at countless China IP seminars, participated to an exciting Startups.be mission to southern China, maintained and expanded our network in Shanghai, developed new ties in the Belgium-China scene and, above all, put our China IP expertise to the service of a growing client base.
We supported clients with their China IP and market access challenges, helped (big and small) businesses negotiate complex contracts and litigate their IP, advised others to adapt and strengthen often incomplete Chinese IP portfolios, and brainstormed with many on how to best deal with this promising but challenging market and part of the world.
This exciting first year fills us with confidence for the year to come and it is with anticipation that we are looking at the next 12 months. Business with China will only increase and, with that, the importance of IP protection.  China will remain a top IP rights applicant, the most IP litigious country, R&D spending will continue to grow, and Chinese entrepreneurs will further benefit from vast amount of data to build, train and implement the most advanced AI systems in the world. It is now widely acknowledged (also in the mainstream media) that China is catching up fast and taking the lead in key areas of technology and the country will further break down the prejudice that it does not innovate and merely steals IP from foreign companies.
As the MIT Technology Review put it in its January 2019 issue, China has become “a land where everything is bigger and happens faster, a place bursting with energy and ideas”. We are looking forward to assisting our clients benefitting from the many opportunities and helping them tackling the many risks that go along.
Best wishes for this new year of the pig!
For the DALDEWOLF China Desk,
Valentin de le COURT