Combat Squatting by Registering your Trademark in China

Suing a Chinese Company

To save your product idea and brand image, money spent on filing trademark registration is a wise decision. Although the process of trademark registration in China is a bit time-taking, the protection and security it offers to your company are simply unparalleled. Even before your trademark is approved, the pending process could also deter counterfeiters to imitate your valued brand.

 

Registering your trademark protects it from anyone that attempts to profit from your marketing and product development. Obtaining a registered trademark for your brand’s IP will allow you to use the registered trademark symbol “®” in the name, logo, designs, slogans, and any words associated with your brand.

 

China’s Trademark Law is not Weak

Many people think that weak Chinese trademark law is responsible for the growing number of infringement incidents, but the reality is China’s trademark law already has a number of provisions to combat squatting. The truth is when a foreign company comes to conduct business in China, either they don’t take trademark registration seriously or they take wrong steps on battling the trademark infringement legal disputes.

 

However, the good news is over the last couple of years, several foreign firms especially from the USA have won many trademark infringement cases giving hope to other overseas companies that a tougher line from Beijing is adapted to act swiftly and appropriately to the long-existing trademark squatting practice.

 

Appoint a CTPLO for Protecting your Intellectual Property

It is strongly recommended to seek the advice of the China Trademark and Patent Law Office (CTPLO). The CTPLO aims in offering a fast and highly responsive service along with value-driven bilingual legal services to foreign businesses. The success rate of the self-filed trademark registration is very low as the registering process is quite complex in China. The attorneys of the trademark and patent law office in China can assist you correctly with the trademark filing method.

 

The experience and credibility of CTPLO firms are just too vast and diverse that transcend over a broad range of industries. The level of accountability and credentials exhibited by the China trademark and patent law office is simply unquestionable. CTPLO firms are amazing in handling trademark, patent, industrial design, copyright, records of intellectual property with the Customs, records of intellectual property license, and assignment with the China Trademark Office.

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China’s Patent & Copyright Registration Process

trademark registration in China

Trademark has value not only to the owner due to its distinctiveness but also to customers who associate this trademark with a specific product or service. Moreover, if a foreign company wants to enter into a licensing agreement with a Chinese distributor, the foreign firm has to register the trademark in China first. Most renowned Chinese distributors will only form business relationships with overseas enterprises whose trademark is registered in China.

 

Patents, utility models, and design rights

China’s Patent Law deals with the protection of rights over technological inventions, as in the UK, but it also covers utility models and designs (also known as ‘design patents’). Invention patents give protection for a maximum of 20 years, utility models for ten, and each is subject to the payment of annual fees. It may be a good idea to apply to register a product as a utility model if your invention patent is not granted.

 

Essential information for registering IP, trademark, copyright, and/or patent with China customs

  • A copy of your business license or certificate of incorporation (or another legal document confirms your company’s existence). These documents must be in Chinese or translated into Chinese.
  • A copy of the Chinese registration certificate for your trademark, patent, or copyright.
  • A Power of Attorney.
  • Pictures of the goods for which you are seeking protection and their packaging.

 

Early registration

Due to the ‘first to file system, the outcome of any trademark dispute primarily hinges on who registered it first in China. The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) performs an ex officio examination of the existence of identical and/or similar earlier rights to the one intended to be protected as a trademark. It means that the existence of identical or similar earlier rights can prevent the registration of a trademark filed at a later stage and that the filing must be done as soon as possible. So, if you are planning to do business in China, it is important to register your trademark first.

 

Copyright owners and the obligees related to copyright may authorize a collective management organization of copyright to exercise the copyright or the rights related to copyright. The collective management organization of copyright may, after being authorized, claim rights in its own name for the copyright owners and the obligees related to copyright, and may, as a party concerned, participate in the litigation and arbitration activities involved with copyright or the rights related to copyright.

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