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Best Case on Intellectual Property Empowers SMEs Innovation and Development---Guiyang Flower Space Cultural and Creative Co., Ltd.

WIPO has organized campaign events to celebrate the World Intellectual Property Day (WIPD) 2021, including the Case Studies on the use of IP for SMEs. WIPO Case Studies on the use of IP for SMES has received strong support and active participation, and the WIPO China Office (WOC) has received over 30 excellent SME cases recommended by Chinese partners. These case studies tell fascinating stories of Chinese SMEs using IP to turn their  ideas into business opportunities and generate value, and among which,let's listen to the story of Guiyang Flower Space Cultural Creative Co., Ltd. today!

Tell us about your company and your products

Founded in 2015, Guiyang Flower Space Cultural Creative Co.,Ltd., is  a company dedicated to the interaction and exchange of cultural life, based on local cultural and creative products, customizing and developing a series of thematic cultural activities in Guizhou, and promoting Guizhou culture through products and activities.

As a provider of cultural services and products, the company is rooted in the refined study and collation of traditional Guizhou culture. Relying on the strong cultural backing of the Guiyang Miaojiang Story National Costume Museum, with the design concept of "Guizhou elements - international expression" and the contemporary young designers, it has launched the "Qian Yan New Gift" series of products as the core product.

What have been the biggest challenges you faced in bringing your idea to market?

The biggest question we face is: how do we protect the copyright of our product designs? How do I get copyright protection?

Creativity and product development is an arduous process, and we need a mechanism to protect the fruits of our labour, as well as relevant talents to help protect the intellectual property rights of enterprises. In the past, we felt helpless when we saw other companies or organisations copying our creative products; we also lacked access and market guidance when we needed copyright cooperation, and we were groping our way forward.

At what point did you realize IP could support your business?

The founders have been aware of the commercial benefits of intellectual property since the early days of the company, and have formed a chain of cooperation. The Guiyang Miaojiang Story National Costume Museum is our upstream organisation. The museum develops content products, which, after copyright registration, become content IP that can be exported to the public, and then, through contemporary design, are transformed into cultural and creative products that meet modern aesthetics and functions, which are operated, managed and sold by our company, ultimately forming a sharing relationship. We will also register the copyright of the final product, forming a copyright asset. This is a synergistic mode of operation, taking advantage of the nodes to give the products roots and allow culture to form products into modern life.

How are you using IP rights and how have they helped your business?

Up to now, through a series of actions such as trademark registration, copyright registration and patent application, we have developed 3 brands, registered trademarks in 55 categories and 15 works of copyright, and applied 18 patents, initially forming our intellectual property matrix.

Starting with copyright, through the series of layouts mentioned above, a strong cultural content IP power field is formed, which ultimately allows for high-quality development of cultural and creative industries through the export of IP. This is a huge pool of value that is difficult and lengthy to build in the early stages, but the explosive power of the later stages is amazing. The cultural and creative work is a long industrial chain that requires the collaboration of many parties to form an agreed relationship over IP and benefit from it together.

The "Colorful Guizhou - Cool Guiyang" pavilion at the 3rd China Import Expo 2020 is a successful example of copyright cooperation. We came up with creative designs and material elements, and when the designers got the material, the first thing they asked was, "Is there any copyright protection for this ?" The higher the economic level of the city, the more people are aware of copyright protection. We should have copyright awareness and copyright planning for any future work that we launch.

Was it easy to get hold of the information you needed to secure IP rights?

It's okay. Through WIPO's global patent database, global brand database, global design database, international design bulletin and other information platforms, we can instantly search for the information we need. The content is rich, easy to operate and the interface is quite friendly, and for those who are not good at English, you can switch to Chinese to access it.

What are the main lessons you have learned from taking your idea to market?

China started relatively late in the wave of world economic development, but its economy develops rapidly, partly due to the good use of latecomer advantages.  The creative industries are crucial in this process, and the protection of IPR is necessary for the creative industries to protect their creative designs. At the same time, the protection of IPR is also a guarantee for the smooth operation of enterprises, whether in the creation and design process or in the subsequent development and sales process, all aspects of intellectual property issues are involved. Only by respecting and acquiring intellectual property rights, strengthening the adjustment of related issues and establishing a complete legal protection system can  the development of enterprises be promoted.

Why it is important for SMEs to focus on IP?

Intellectual property is evidence of a company's ability to innovate. A simple way to understand a company's innovation capability is to find out how much intellectual property it has. IP ownership is a strong indicator of a company's ability to innovate, which can be used to gain the trust of customers and build a company's brand.

Intellectual property is also an important element of a company's assets, an important indicator for assessing the value of a company, and a consensus for development into the modern business world. In addition, IPRs can bring many benefits to a company, such as licensing fees for the use of IPRs by others, intangible advertising effects, applications for government projects, and access to government funding, etc.

What advice do you have for other SMEs when it comes to IP?

In the process of bringing creative works to the market, SMEs should learn to protect the IP rights of original works on the one hand, and on the other hand, learn to establish the social influence of their brands and make achievements in order to be recognized and protected by the whole society.

How would you like to see the IP system evolve?

We feel that the IP system will become increasingly standardised and eventually lead to widely adopted standards for global use and an international consensus.

Looking ahead, China's IPR protection system will become increasingly sophisticated and the Chinese government will play a more important role in enforcing intellectual property rights. It is hoped that copyright protection of scientific and technological innovations will be strengthened, and that the protection of China's outstanding traditional culture will also continue to be consolidated, and that the copyright protection system for traditional cultural knowledge will be improved with focused protection measures.

As a cultural and creative company, we will pay more and more attention to the construction and management of copyright assets in the future, and form a certain amount of copyright assets every year. We will further strengthen our awareness of copyright protection and build up a knowledge base for entering the international market and developing international cooperation.