China's trademark squatters cause major headaches for foreign firms




Wait a second… China HAS intellectual property law?


One is reminded of the that in the US, the trademark to Bayer Aspirin is not owned by Bayer AG.


Should U.S. IP law rule the world? I tend to think that global IP claims, and global enforcement of IP claims, leads to concentration of power and wealth, which I’ll assert (without justifying it) is a bad thing for most people. Good for a very small number of people with special interests, bad for everyone else.


How about registering a bunch of Chinese IP?


yeah, i’m sure that the profit these Chinese scam companies are making is flowing to the economy at large, and has nothing to do with state corruption and kickbacks.


There is a simple solution that calls for patience. Don’t sell in China and make it widely known why. Sooner or later, the Chinese government will pay attention to the loss of income to their economy and will then end the practice.



Some other company will use your trademark to sell knockoffs of your products. No loss to their economy whatsoever, unless Chinese consumers get wise to the scam and picky about authenticity.


IIRC the aspirin trademark was impounded in connection with war reparations and thus the case is a bit different.


I have to agree.
Some bullshit luxury wine or car company having a hard time selling their wares in China is hardly a reason to whine.

IP law becomes prominent exactly at a time when production of goods in the West ceases to be a dominant factor. IP laws are therefore only about extracting a rent from those parts of the economy that still produce wealth by a part of the economy that has resigned itself to watch the circulation of capital.


In the case of Penfolds, who gives a shit? Why want Ben Fu so bad? The Penfolds name doesn’t make any sense as a word, and the vague, hazy connotations of the name surely don’t translate.

IMO re-branding is a no-brainer; just call it Chinese for ‘ripped off’.


Why should the chinese trademark system be subservient to americans coming in and declaring that they are entitled to a name? I doubt US companies would like it if they were barred from registering trademarks in america because a chinese company already exists with that name.


For the same reason the American trademark system should be “subservient” to legitimate Chinese trademarks. It should be mutual. (The only real reason it isn’t is because American brands have far greater awareness in China than vice-versa.) They shouldn’t be able to trademark Coca-Cola, and a Western company shouldn’t be able to trademark Future Cola.


Ha! Remind me again how long it took producers of the Champagne région of France to stop producers of cheap ass bubly wine in the US to call their stuff ‘Champagne’ as well ?
I think we should have retaliated by making the most horrendous red wines possible and selling them in the US with a big label saying ‘California’. Exact same thing.


you do realize that these companies are using exactly the same “IP law” right? the only difference is that they don’t actually produce anything (and, at least in some cases, are using the name in bad faith, i.e. for sole purpose of interfering with another business). they are still extracting rent, at least in the form of a futures derivative.

it’s pretty much like saying that Prenda Law is taking a stand against copyright abuse, or that [insert patent troll here] is fighting patents. utterly ridiculous.


I was thinking that if your shit is so firm that using a Chinese squatter gives you a headache, then perhaps foreigners should try a different diet.


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