Features

OEM and trademark use in China: how to reap the benefits while avoiding the pitfalls

By Elliot Papageorgiou

Following amendments to the trademark regime in 2014, brand owners have a number of options they can take to protect themselves if they discover bad-faith registrations of their marks

When China’s revised trademark law came into force in May 2014, there was much speculation about the effect that Article 48 would have on original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and trademark enforcement. Two years on and the first practical experiences with Article 48 – not to mention some important judicial clarifications – mean that a clearer picture is beginning to emerge. This article briefly considers why Article 48 was added to the amended law and what effect it has had on both OEM and trademark infringements. It then focuses on what brand owners should do to protect themselves if they are in an OEM situation faced with a bad-faith registration of their mark or, conversely, what they should do to reduce the potential for fake OEM structures set up merely to foil the enforcement of legitimate trademark rights.

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Issue 70