To commemorate the Lunar New Year, our focus is centered this month on Chinese character trademark watching.
As we’ve previously reported, China’s trademark registrations saw exponential growth in 2017. According to Principium Strategies’ director of operations David Grossman, “In 2016, there were 3.7 million trademark applications filed in China. In 2017, there were five million trademark applications. And, based upon what our agents in the field are telling us, we can expect that number to exceed eight million in 2018.”
The reason for this, Grossman notes, has partly to do with economic growth in the country, but another factor may be affecting this: change in law. On April 1, 2017, the Chinese Trademark Office lowered their trademark fees by roughly 50%. “Essentially, the Chinese government is looking to stimulate growth in the IP sector. This is part of a five-year plan in which China is looking to capitalize on growth and cultivate their IP assets,” Grossman said.
As a result, the need for brands to review, monitor and protect their assets in the Chinese market has increased respectively.
“In order to protect your Chinese brand against potential character infringements, you need to watch specifically in Chinese characters,” says Principium senior analyst Andrew Woode. “Principium Strategies covers the Chinese jurisdictions: The People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore. We find good character matches in these gazettes and then have the results reviewed by native speaker analysts.”
To hear specific examples of how Chinese character trademark watch can help protect your brands, listen to our latest episode of the Principium Pod featuring interviews with both David Grossman and Andrew Woode.