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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

China trademark "Only if you are interested" 非誠勿擾

Jiangsu Broadcasting Corp was recently sued over a trademark used for one of its most poplar TV shows. Jin Ahuan, an e-business worker, said he registered the trademark 非誠勿擾 - or "only if you are interested" - for matchmaking and marriage services in 2010.

In the same year, Jiangsu TV started a dating game show with the same name, which Jin said infringed his trademark right. But attorneys for the defendant said the two marks "belong to different categories and look different".

As a matter of fact, the movie 非誠勿擾 (translated as If You Are The One in IMDB) was shown in China and all over the world in 2008! The story was about match making that a Chinese man and woman trying to find the right person. So who is infringing whom?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The problem of trademark protection in China

Everybody read about Apple settles iPad trademark case in China with payment of USD60 million to Proview. If you missed this news, you can check this out in New York Times.

This is only a reflection to what is happening in China related to 'well known' foreign trademarks. As we wrote earlier, we are getting cases related to trademark squatting in China. Individual, not a business, registers hundreds of foreign trademarks waiting to sell it. The iPad cases just proved that it can be a good business. Recent cases also demonstrated that posting a registered mark for sales is not a good reason for 'applicant with bad intention', the real trademark owner still have a hard time to fight back. All these combined, actually let the Chinese 'seller' set a higher price to sell the registered marks.

The bad things is, trademark squatting is spreading to Hong Kong. What we can tell is, if you value a name or symbol that your business had been using for a long time, and you have intention to coming to China or Hong Kong, do the mark registration ASAP.

Of course, we do trademark too.