By Richard W. Wigley King & Wood Mallesons’ Intellectual Property Group
In China today, companies which have invested resources in developing their marks encounter numerous problems in protecting and enforcing their trademark rights. First and foremost, they face counterfeiters who without authorization use their marks on the same or similar goods. In addition, certain companies or individuals will become “trademark pirates” or “trademark squatters” and register marks of a famous brand in China. While some trademark pirates do this to “free ride” on the brand equity of the brand owner, some trademark squatters may do it in an attempt to “negotiate” payment from the brand owner in exchange for the mark. However, if the holder of a mark in a foreign market contracts with an original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) in China for the manufacture of goods bearing said mark solely for export where the rights to said mark in the P.R.C. are held by another entity, are such actions (i.e. the manufacture solely for export of said goods) an infringement upon the P.R.C. trademark holder’s rights?
Continue Reading China’s OEM’s Manufacturing Solely for Export receive Supreme People’s Court’s Guidance on what Constitutes Trademark “Use”