Fortune Talks With Josh Gerben About Increased China-Based Filings at the USPTO

The USPTO is being inundated with trademark applications, most of which are from companies based in China.

Josh Gerben offers insight on the volume of trademarks filed and why it is so high.

But Josh Gerben, whose law firm Gerben Perrott specializes in trademark law, crunched the numbers and pinpointed what he says is the main contributor to the influx of filings. … “It’s the biggest problem to our trademark system that we’ve faced in my career,” says Gerben. “Just the sheer numbers are surprising.”

Gerben says based on the incentives, obtaining a couple of trademarks a month is enough for a living wage in China.

Theories abound over why Chinese municipal governments have adopted this strategy, says Gerben. One is that China wants its businesses to invest in intellectual property around the world and own global brands.

But the “more nefarious” hypothesis is tied to the U.S. trade war, Gerben says. … “From a trade war perspective, it’s another tactic,” Gerben says. “It’s another way to poke the U.S. in the eye.” … Gerben says that he has applications he filed in December that still have not been examined.

“It’s a very broad right, and that’s why it trips up a lot of new brands,” Gerben says. “The crowdedness makes it a lot harder right now.”

The Trademark Modernization Act came out of those congressional hearings, but Gerben thinks that the new rules that are in the works won’t address the problem directly and will just cause collateral damage within the system. “I think the challenge is the USPTO doesn’t want to call out China directly enough,” he says. “But the data is extraordinarily clear.”

Source: Beth Kowitt. “China is flooding the U.S. with trademark applications and no one is sure why”. 01 July 2021.

Do you need assistance with a trademark matter?

Contact an Attorney Today

Contact Us
Back to top