Recently, the former President of the Bureau of Federation of International IP Attorneys （FICPI） Bastiaan Koster shared comments on China's IP protection in an interview with China Intellectual Property News.
According to him, IP was his connection to China. His experience with China dated back to 2009 when he visited the country for the first time. At the time he was involved in FICPI. In the five years to follow, every year he joined the FICPI delegation to the meeting with the then State Intellectual Property Office of China. During the period 2012 to 2015, he served as President of FICPI. "During this period, I could see how the IP system was continuously improved and that much thinking went into how to do in best in such a large country like China. I noticed during these meetings with All-China Patent Agents Association and also engaging with Chinese patent and trademark attorneys professionally is the rapid increase in quality and depth in Chinese IP firms," said Koster.
"Having an IP system that is developing as fast and to the magnitude of the IP system in China is obviously not easy and comes with challenges. One of the issues is to maintain the balance between output （number of filings） and quality,"said Koster. "In view of the strong economy in China there is a huge demand for patents and trademarks. Another challenge is education for individuals and companies as to the role of IP. I believe every company should have a thorough understanding what the end goals are of having IP rights and an IP portfolio. "
In Koster's eyes, many people have no idea about IP system in China. When he tells them that China has one of the most sophisticated IP Offices and files the most patents and trademarks in the world, it came as a surprise to them. To process the large number of patents, utility patents and trademarks annually being filed in China is no easy task. Starting with having sufficient IP attorneys, enabling IP firms, having a very strong administrative system to deal with IP applications and a strong Court system to deal with enforcement. The government of China has done an excellent job to ensure that the rapid growth in the IP system takes place at all levels. In his experience China is one of the few countries having judicial enforcement measures for IP infringement. He therefore believes that the negative comments some people hear about the IP system in China is often based on incorrect perceptions and not on facts.
"Given the success story of the IP system in China and the very short time it was obtained, I am confident that the IP system will continue to improve at its current pace. The rest of the world can be assured that their IP rights will be well protected and enforceable in China," according to Koster. （Liu Peng /Xiong Huaping｜China Intellectual Property News）
Bastiaan Koster is an accomplished patent attorney and trade mark practitioner. As past president of the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys （FICPI） and the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law （SAIIPL）， he brings significant experience to the table. Bastiaan is the partner responsible for the day-to-day management of Von Seidels, a boutique intellectual property law firm based in Cape Town, South Africa. He is also in charge of the department in the firm responsible for filing patent applications in South Africa which emanate from overseas applicants.
Bastiaan's formal training in electronic engineering （pre-law）， coupled with extensive experience in matters relating to Plant Breeders' Rights, has stood him in good stead when it comes to understanding and working with matters of a broad technical nature and their integration with commercial issues.
Taken together with his natural acumen for the law and his noteworthy experience in IP registration, administration, enforcement and litigation, Bastiaan's approach makes him a highly qualified member and much-valued partner in the Von Seidels team.
Due to Bastiaan's comprehensive experience in intellectual property matters, he consults with a wide range of clients on the strategic management of their intellectual property portfolios. In his long-standing involvement in FICPI, he has acquired a deep understanding of current global IP issues.