How to tackle Chinese trade mark squatters
Linda Chang explains why bad faith under Chinese law is often misunderstood by foreign trade mark owners, and how new amendments to the law could improve enforcement
With more and more Chinese individuals and organisations
realising the possibilities for abuse in China's first-to-file
trade mark registration, trade mark squatting has become a very
profitable business. Squatters just need to spend a couple of
thousand renminbi to file with the Chinese Trade Mark Office
and become the owner of a brand, so long as it is not yet
registered. If the legitimate owner cannot successfully oppose
the application, it will have to forgo or re-brand for the
Chinese market, or buy back the trade mark for thousands to
millions of renminbi. This taking of another party's trade mark
by merely registering it early is known as bad faith
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