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Manage your Intellectual Property in Mainland China, HongKong, Macao and Taiwan

The value of a Chinese trade mark

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English Trackers provides English editing and proofreading services to companies worldwide. Bridget Rooth set up the company in 2008 and her vision was to build a strong brand that she would be able to sell one day. Bridget shares another reason for registering a trade mark in China – besides adequately protecting your brand.

“I think IPR is very complicated for small companies entering China because they don’t have big legal teams in-house”, Bridget says. “I had the advantage of having been exposed to business in China – and particularly IPR – while working my first four years in China for a foreign law firm. As soon as I had my business license I started the procedure to register my trade mark.”

Another issue Bridget mentions that small companies face in China, is working on a small budget. She says: “Having a miniscule budget meant I did the job myself. I found a local trade mark agent via a Chinese friend, the costs of registration in one class were ¥ 2,000 (± € 240).

Bridget mentions that the reason to register her trade mark was to enforce her rights in case of infringement, but so far no illegal copies of her brand have sprung up. However she recently encountered another use for having her trade mark registered. “If you want to verify your Sina Weibo account (Chinese equivalent of Twitter), which is definitely worth doing if you want to grow your fan base, you’ll want to use your logo in place of a photo on your account. To do that, you need to prove you own the brand.”

“Go register your brand!” says Bridget. She also advises SMEs to use all resources available when establishing themselves in the Chinese market. “Use Chambers of Commerce and services like the Helpdesk to assist you.”

 

Lessons learnt:

  • Register your trade mark as soon as you register your company in China.
  • Realise that your trade mark doesn’t just protect your brand name or logo, proving that you own the brand can be required for other business purposes as well.

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