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China Trademark Registration: Why Should Register a Trademark in China

Updated:2018-4-9 12:14:56    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:292

China trademark registration is one way to build your brand in China. In order for a foreign business to assert trademark rights in China, the first and most important step to take is to register the specific trademark. China recognizes a “first to file” system, which generally means that the trademark right belongs to the first person who properly registers the mark in China.

Unlike the United States, in China there is no prior-use or intent-to-use requirement needed before registering a trademark nor are common law rights recognized. In other words, any party, whether or not it intends to use the mark in the stream of commerce, may register a trademark in China.

The year 2017 is coming to an end, but it’s not too late to conduct a thorough cleanup. First on the list: get your IP in order and register your trademarks in China. The following are the reasons to do so.

On one hand, China is a first-to-file jurisdiction for trademarks and this means that if you don’t register your trademark, someone else could and probably will. Export-only manufacturing in China generally constitutes infringing trademark use and so even if you are just manufacturing your product in China for sale elsewhere, failing to register your trademark used on that product puts you at great risk of losing your brand name or your logo to someone else in China and not being able to continue having your product made in China. Why expose yourself to that kind of risk?

On the other hand, if you only have a trademark registration in the US or EU or some other jurisdiction outside China, you should be able to submit takedown requests to foreign-facing sites like Alibaba. Many other e-commerce or social networking sites require a Chinese trademark registration and every site will take action more quickly with one.

What is more, with few exceptions, a foreign trademark has no relevance in China. It certainly means nothing to Chinese Customs. Would U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seize goods based on a Chinese trademark registration? Not a chance. And the only way to have Chinese Customs seize infringing goods is to first have a Chinese trademark registration, and then register that trademark again with Chinese customs.

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