William and Mary Law School

Trademarks

Dear Readers,

This summer I have done more trademark work than patent work.  The work involved in Chinese trademarks is different from patents.  In patents I apply and respond to application things.  Patents have some litigation element but not nearly as much as trademarks.  Especially in China where “copy” trademarks are readily obtainable, trademark work is more litigation based.  It is far more likely for our office to receive a trademark infringement than a patent. 

Trademark infringements are heated battle grounds.  Because the cost of a trademark is much lower than patent, they are easier to obtain.  The work necessary to copy a trademark is small, just copy the exact trademark and use Chinese characters.  Trademarks that look exactly the same to their Foreign counterparts except with Chinese characters are often given by the Chinese trademark offices.  This initial allowance often costs the real trademark owners’ years of litigation fees.

Foreign companies are much more willing to go get a trademark because it protects their standard.  Logos in China, are everywhere.  A Nike hat is often not made from Nike.  The poor quality of the hat turns off would be customers from the brand.  This brand lessening is what foreign companies fear the most.  The price of a trademark is not too expensive.  As the world globalizes, trademarks in China will heat up.