Covert Brand Purchasing as an IP Protection Strategy

One does not always have to take legal action to combat a potentially dangerous opposing brand. One option is also to buy this trademark covertly via a middleman function and thus eliminate the threat potential.  The following case from practice: A German mechanical engineering company, which is very successful in China, discovered that there was… Continue reading Covert Brand Purchasing as an IP Protection Strategy

New Year, New Guidance Documents: China Improves IP Protection

The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released information on the implementation of the Opinions on Strengthening Intellectual Property Protection (关于强化知识产权保护的意见) in late October 2022. They explain how amendments to the 2021 Patent Law will be implemented in practice. In addition, CNIPA aims to complete the revision and concretization of the Patent Law Implementation Rules… Continue reading New Year, New Guidance Documents: China Improves IP Protection

Fighting Trademark Squatting as Unfair Competition

Trademark squatting and trademark hoarding have long been a troublesome problem for many foreign companies in China. Now, a breakthrough has been made in Chinese IP jurisprudence: Trademark rights holders can sue for unfair competition against trademark applications filed in bad faith and obtain injunctive relief and damages.  One precedent is the case of Emerson… Continue reading Fighting Trademark Squatting as Unfair Competition

IP Compliance Guidelines

The Shanghai Pudong New Area Procuratorate has released China’s first intellectual property rights (IPR) compliance guidelines. The goal is to highlight IPR-related risks and drive the establishment of a robust IP compliance system. IP compliance includes patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The guidelines distinguish IPR risks according to their level. For example, changes in… Continue reading IP Compliance Guidelines

China Cracks Down on Bad Faith IP Infringement Cases

The Supreme People’s Court of the PRC is emphasizing the need to step up its crackdown on false and bad faith IP litigation. The relevant document is the “Opinions of the OVG on Strengthening the IP Litigation System to Provide Effective Judicial Services and Ensure the Construction of an IP Stronghold”, published on October 29,… Continue reading China Cracks Down on Bad Faith IP Infringement Cases

Intentional and Punitive Damages in IPR Infringement

Punitive damages are applicable in all areas of IPR infringement and have been steadily improving in PRC legislation in recent years. It is also part of the latest Five-Year Plan through the government’s stated goal of establishing a comprehensive IPR infringement compensation system. The Judicial Interpretation of Punitive Damages for Intellectual Property Rights to Punish… Continue reading Intentional and Punitive Damages in IPR Infringement

IP Protection in the Chinese Metaverse

The topic of IP in the metaverse (metaverse) is gaining importance in China. The drivers are the Chinese technology groups, above all Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, ByteDance and NetEase, which are currently racing against each other with massive metaverse trademark applications. Tencent alone has filed around 100 applications. Baidu, for example, has applied for the term Metaapp as a trademark, Alibaba for the trademark Ali Metaverse, and NetEase for the NetEase Metaverse. NetEase Group’s trademark applications… Continue reading IP Protection in the Chinese Metaverse

China’s Transformation of Society: Luxury Brands Are at Risk

China’s new policy of transforming society toward greater common good is leading Western suppliers of luxury brands to think strategically. Could it be that foreign luxury brands will be considered too individualistic, capitalistic and decadent by the political leadership in the future and therefore controlled or even thwarted? The government’s crackdown on celebrity culture and… Continue reading China’s Transformation of Society: Luxury Brands Are at Risk

IP Protection in New Areas

Intellectual property protection has always been high on the Chinese agenda. For example, the Made in China 2025 strategy aims to transform Chinese enterprises from manufacturers into owners and creators of intellectual property in the global economy. In September and October 2021, China published the Outline of Building an IPR Powerhouse (2021-2035) and the 14th… Continue reading IP Protection in New Areas

Beware of Forged Evidence

In China, not only products are counterfeited, but also documents often lack the authenticity required in court. For example, an individual named Zhang filed an application to cancel the Yuanshai food trademark of Tianjin Zhongying Group because the trademark had not been used for three consecutive years. Upon review, the Intellectual Property Office determined from… Continue reading Beware of Forged Evidence