Applying for a trademark is a crucial and an important step that’s often ignored or overlooked by business owners who are interested to sell in China.
China is a “first-to-file” country which means that the person who registers a trademark for a product, will also have all exclusive rights to distribute and sell the product.
You need to keep this in mind even in case you are producing your products in China. There is always a chance that your manufacturing partner will register your trademark and China and sell your product as their own.
The fact is that it’s practically impossible to engage in the Chinese market long term, without registering your trademark.
Only with registered trademark you can take down infringing listings on Chinese e-commerce sites. Mostly all e-commerce or social networking sites require a Chinese trademark registration to remove infringing listings. The site will take action more quickly when you can show that your trademark is fully registered.
Also, China does not protect the unregistered trademarks. If you are selling branded products in China without having registered a trademark, there is a near 100% chance someone else will register your trademark. Such third party can even come after you for the trademark infringement (even if you were the first one to use the mark!). China does not recognize common-law trademarks. So if you are selling in China-you must register the TM is China.
The additional positive element is that having TM registration, you can request Chinese Customs to seize the counterfeiting goods. With few exceptions, a foreign trademark has no relevance in China. Foreign trademark, even if duly registered, certainly means nothing to Chinese Customs.
Last, but not least, with the registered trademark a company is more attractive to is customers. The customers give more respect and trust to the companies that are protecting and investing in their trademarks.
Just look at the number, China is the No. 1 country by the number of trademark applications submitted in the year 2017. Does it not convince you?
Need help with China trademark registration? Register your trademark in China with us!