Using copyright to thwart trademark squatting in China

By George Chan

Brand owners targeted by trademark squatters, but with no previous history of conducting business in China can face an uphill struggle when proving prior rights in the country. Could copyright be the answer?

China is a first-to-file trademark jurisdiction that does not require trademark applicants to demonstrate use of or an intention to use an applied-for mark. This makes China’s trademark system ripe for abuse by trademark squatters (ie, persons who apply to register third-party trademarks with the aim of selling them back to the legitimate rights holders).

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