In today’s global economy, it is smart to consider trademark registration in China. Whether you plan to manufacture your product in Beijing or you already reach customers in Shanghai, it is important to begin the process as soon as possible. Bad faith trademark registrations are on the rise in China, and the best way to avoid this challenging situation is to register early. However, there are options if you find your trademark has already been registered in bad faith. Consider the following information about bad faith registrations in China, and what you may be able to do about them.
What is a Bad Faith Trademark Registration in China?
A trademark is considered registered in bad faith when a person knowingly registers a trademark with the intent to profit from it and/or hold it hostage and seek a ransom from the true owner One way that people profit from a bad faith trademark registration is by selling counterfeit goods using the mark. Another common scenario is a business or individual registers a trademark with plans to ransom the mark to its foreign owner for a much higher price. In any instance, trademark owners have a challenge ahead to take ownership of their trademark once it has been registered in bad faith in another country.
While bad faith trademark registrations occur throughout the world, China is a well-known leader in the practice. Several factors contribute to this, but one of the major reasons we see bad faith registrations in China is the trademark law itself. Unlike the United States, which is a first-to-use country, China has a first-to-file policy on trademarks. Therefore, the first person to file a trademark registration in China is typically granted the rights to the mark in that country. This gives people with ill intent motive to rush to register foreign trademarks before their owners have a chance.
Every Business Owner Should File a Chinese Trademark ASAP to Avoid Being a Victim of Bad Faith Registrations
The best way to avoid a bad faith trademark registration in China is to register in the country as soon as possible. While there are other options listed below, they are far more time consuming and costly than simply being the first to register your trademark in China. If filed within six months of your U.S. trademark filing, you are able to claim your U.S. priority date in China. If more than six months have passed, the date that you file in China will become your priority date. Either way, anyone filing a similar trademark after your priority date will likely have their application rejected.