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Johny
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Now for the reality check.

Patents are complicated documents completed by people who use legal jargon to impress on people why they should pay so much to have that product patented.

They have a purpose, but they are far from being the be all and end all for protection of a product. And getting any patent protection in major markets is a very expensive game.

You mention that you are looking at an existing product that you have essentially innovated to improve on? Bear in mind that it doesn’t take much to offer variations to what you may have patented which can then be sold in competition to your product. It happens all the time, thats what innovation is.

Now for the China part. You will not get the same protection when dealing in China that you will in Australia. Something like an NDA is pretty much worthless, so you are relying on having a good supplier that will protect your interests. There are plenty about, but plenty of bad ones too.

The last thing you want is to be looking at legal issues with a supplier in China.

You have your patent great. My advise would be to spend a good amount of time with your proposed supplier/s because that is where a lot of the initial phase of this process resolves. I have written something about it here:-

http://www.asiasupplierreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=440

In my mind, the best thing you can have when introducing a new or improved product to market is the advantage of being the first. If a product is successful then you can be 100% guaranteed someone else will copy it or try to improve on what you have done.

For that reason, if it was me, I would make sure I had some good interest in the product with prospective buyers before bringing the product to production as it can be expensive just to get started. As an example, just one small moulded plastic piece can run into a couple of thousand USD.

Sorry, but I just wanted to point out that you need to be mindful that patent protection does not offer you absolute protection.

Hope it all works out for you.