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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trademark squatting in China

We are surprised by the depth of trademark squatting until we see one.

We came across a case whereby a trademark registered in Australia for the sales of fashion clothing. The lawful owner then applied for registration of the same mark worldwide. But the registration of the mark failed in China, as it was already registered. We were then asked to provide our opinion on the subject.

We search a few Chinese web sites and found that the goods were sold in (something like eBay) That is, they are being sold on a small scale in China and the manufacturer does not have a presence in China

When the "lawful" owner of this mark wanted to apply it in China, it was rejected as the same mark was registered a few years back. When we were asked to provide opinion on the subject, apart from the normal thing, we also found out that the Chinese trademark owner was an individual instead of a company that also applied another 50 trademarks under the same class 25. Some succeed and some failed.

This person had yet to apply any mark for Chinese products, what an individual with international prospective.

What it takes for his attention to apply for a mark registration? All these marks are national or international brand that have yet to have a presence in China. So that good citizen of China is creating brand awareness before their lawful owner.

We were thinking should we start an anti-squatting action to call each lawful owner to instruct us to get back the trademark from these Chinese squatters. To be or not to be, that is a problem when we have spare resource. Advert time: For those foreign trade mark agent or trade mark owner, you can have us to do some search, may be something interesting may pop up.