The fame game: how reputation can protect unregistered marks in China

By Jiehua Lu

Recent decisions have highlighted the evolving approach to protection for unregistered trademarks in China. However, when seeking to prove reputation there are a number of factors to consider

The Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China is based on the first-to-file principle, which means that exclusive trademark rights are granted to the party which first registers the mark. Such a system inevitably opens the door to so-called ‘pre-emptive’ filings. It is not unusual for foreign brand owners entering the Chinese market to fall victim to the increasingly rampant practice of trademark squatting.

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