If you are a business owner, involving in a China sourcing for many years, you may be well-aware of the importance of registering your brand’s trademark in China. Although China’s economic and manufacturing development are astonishing, still the country is a vulnerable place especially for the new entrants. It is a tricky ground where chances are high that you may lose hard-earned name and identity of your brand.
Why you should seriously think of registering trademark in China-
According to the experienced importers of the Chinese goods, coming to China with an accurate sourcing strategy is one of the best ways to get the most out of your investment. Registering trademark would be first on your agenda. Trademark registration in China is the best possible way to protect brand name, fame, and identity. If you own a small business, which you operate in one state and don’t plan on expanding into new markets, you don’t need to register the trademark your name. You already have the right to use it in your market. On the other hand, if you plan to expand your business and reach out to new markets, it would be wise to register the trademark, so that no confusion arises if another company is using the same or a similar name as yours. Trademark registration gives you the power to sue anyone using it without your permission or consent.
China’s unique policy of trademark registration-
The entire trademark registration process in China is totally different. China is a first-to-file country, which simply means that the person who registers the trademark first, will get all the rights to distribute and sell the products. It is necessary to file one application per class of goods or services, and to submit a precise list of the goods or services for which the protection is required.
Protect your trademark, protect your brand image-
Logos, names, taglines and packaging, from a branding perspective, are the assets that need be protected at any cost. Brand abuse of this nature can land business owners in scandals and messy legal disputes, with consumers leveling allegations against the legitimate brand-owners for defective products, faulty services, etc. Registering a trademark establishes common law rights for your company. These rights include the exclusive right to use the trademark (with its corresponding goods and services) nationwide and a legal presumption that you are the owner of the name, slogan or image. However, these rights can be revoked if someone else is able to prove that their usage predates yours. This is why it’s so important to research your trademark extensively before applying.
It is highly important for the US and the European business owners to remain alert about many pitfalls they might face while registering their trademark in China. There are some scenarios where registering through a China lawyer or at least seeking legal advice beforehand makes sense. If your desired mark is similar to another registered mark, or similar enough to confuse people, there’s a decent chance your registration will be contested.
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