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Legal Technology: China Pledges End to Trademark Issues, Changing Laws to Combat Fraud

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December 26, 2012

China Pledges End to Trademark Issues, Changing Laws to Combat Fraud

By Colleen Lynch, TMCnet Contributor

China has long been known for its plethora of local companies, profiting off of the well-known names and brands of global companies like Apple (News - Alert) Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., and Google, Inc.

Now the country has made a pledge to change its laws in order to crack down on what has been termed its “malicious” trademark registrations. Such registrations are the reason these undue practices have been allowed to occur, so amending the laws should finally put an end to this widespread problem.

Specifically, the updated laws would give more power to trademark holders, so that they could ban unauthorized usage of their logos and names. In addition, the fraudulent companies would be barred from using similar names in order to trick customers into buying their products instead of the legitimate ones.

This new proposal came after Reuters (News - Alert) reported several international companies complaining of these on-goings to China.

China’s legislature has planned to discuss the amendment this week, according to Reuters.

Examples of this issue include a recent case in which the Chinese company Proview actually sued Apple for their use of the term “iPad.” In that case, Apple settled for $60 million.

It’s the fear of these lawsuits which has cut China from the good graces of companies like Apple, and the country is clearly looking to legitimize itself on the world’s stage through measures like this proposed amendment. The country needs to ensure the trustworthiness of their business practices, and this announcement shows China taking the steps to do so.

Another example of an American-Chinese spat over trademarks occurred when Michael Jordan of basketball fame sued a Chinese sportswear company for illegally using his name to sell their products. 

The French luxury brand Hermes International has also lodged complaints in the past against China for trademark misuses. 

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Edited by Braden Becker



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