Home » Copyright » Power in Numbers – Trade Mark Squatters in China

Power in Numbers – Trade Mark Squatters in China

Keltie LLP

K2 IP Limited

About IPcopy

IPcopy is an intellectual property related news site covering a wide variety of IP related news and issues. We will also take the odd lighthearted look at IP. Feel free to contact us via the details on the About Us page.

Disclaimer: Unless stated otherwise, the contributors to IPcopy (the "IPcopy writers") are patent and trade mark attorneys or patent and trade mark assistants at Keltie LLP or are network attorneys at K2 IP Limited. Guest contributors will be identified.

This news site is the personal site of the contributors and is not edited by the authors' employer in any way. From time to time however IPcopy may publish practice notes, legal updates and marketing news from Keltie LLP or K2 IP Limited. Any such posts will be clearly marked.

This news site is for information purposes only. Information posted to this news site is not legal advice and should not be taken as such. If you require IP related legal advice please contact your legal representative.

For the avoidance of doubt Keltie LLP and K2 IP Limited have no liability as to the content of IPcopy and any related tweets or social media posts.

Great WallTrade Mark squatting is big business in China and is becoming more and more common. The new target appears to be up and coming European brands. It would appear that as soon as a mark becomes the slightest bit known in the UK, throughout Europe or the US, the marks are being filed as trade mark applications in China by opportunistic third parties known as trade mark squatters.

It would also seem that these third parties are not just trying to reap the rewards of just one trade mark either. It is becoming more common for trade mark squatters (which are now large ‘squatting’ companies) to file hundreds of well-known or well-publicised up and coming brands belonging to foreign owners.

A recent view taken by practitioners in such circumstances is to contact the other brand owners whose trade marks have been registered without authorisation to see if they are willing to oppose the opportunistic third parties as a group. Such an approach would strengthen the sometimes difficult to prove arguments that the applications were made in bad faith.

A signed declaration by all those willing to co-oppose which explains the facts of the bad faith applications would significantly increase the chances of having the opportunistic applications refused.

Such an approach is likely to have even more weight if filed at the Chinese Trade Mark Office via an official or diplomatic route, such as through the UK Chamber of Commerce or if the owners share a common association such as the UK Design Association.

If China features in any future plans, either as a potential market or for manufacturing purposes, it is important to consider obtaining trade mark and copyright protection at the earliest possible stage.

Azhar Sadique   27 February 2013


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: