China Founds Trademark Office to Protect Domestic Brands

The new office shows China is serious about protecting trademark — at least where its own companies are concerned.

China’s first trademark office for helping domestic businesses protect their intellectual property overseas was established Wednesday in Shanghai, according to business news outlet Jiemian. The Shanghai Trademark Overseas Protection Office will support Chinese companies in international trademark disputes by providing guidance, training, and legal services. It will also create a think tank of experts to share their professional suggestions with businesses.

Though China is rife with bootleg DVDs, shoes with backward Nike swoosh logos, and countless imitations of other foreign products, its own time-honored brands fall victim to copycats too, according to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

When Chinese companies learn that their trademarks are being infringed upon, they often find it costly and complicated to pursue legal action. Wangzhihe — a brand of fermented bean curd — took more than two years to finally win a lawsuit in 2009 against a German supermarket that had appropriated its logo. Other brands, like Wuliangye rice wine and Dabao cosmetics, have also fallen prey to overseas imitators.

The official website of the new trademark office shows that on more than 80 occasions since 2004, well-known domestic brands have filed trademark infringement cases against foreign companies. Read the full article here.


– This is original content by Sixth Tone and has been republished with permission.