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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 registration....

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