With the recent headlines exemplifying the ramifications of an organization’s failure to adequately protect their trademarks in China, many organizations are now scrambling to avoid similar fates. If your organization is one of those seeking to protect their intellectual property interests in China, it is time to stop, take a breath and read the remaining contents of this article. Many organizations are unfamiliar with the intricacies of Chinese trademark law and the two minutes it will take you to read this article may help your understanding. If your organization is contemplating seeking trademark protection in China, there are certain things you need to know and consider before taking on this endeavor:
Prior to filing any trademark applications in China, it makes sense to obtain and analyze a comprehensive trademark search for your marks in China. In many situations concerning United States trademark applications, the trademark search costs more than the filing due to the fact that you can typically file one trademark application and add classes to the one application (although you have to pay filing fees based on the number of classes, you will not have to pay separate preparation fees for multiple applications). With US applications, we sometimes recommend doing an informal preliminary search and filing an “intent to use” based application to save some money on the formal searches. Due to the number of trademark applications you would have to file in China to obtain similar protection (see below), the formal trademark search makes financial sense. If the search reveals that there are organizations using the same or similar trade names, you may want to make alternate plans.
As mentioned above, in order to adequately protect your trade name in China, multiple applications must be filed. The reason for this is twofold:
Once you have made the decision to seek trade name protection in China, it is critical that you see it through to the fullest extent possible. Any gap in protection will be exploited. Although it is better to do something over nothing, if you fail to cover all of your bases when filing your Chinese trademark applications, you may be better off spending your money elsewhere because the false sense of security will put you in the same position as if you did not file at all.
Due to the many intricacies of Chinese trademark law and language, protecting your trade name interests in China is not easy nor cheap. Nevertheless, obtaining complete trademark protection in China could be a substantial asset for your business and could avoid the painful situation where your products are held at port and the expense of litigating a trademark dispute overseas. If you are still on the fence (or the Great Wall for that matter) as to whether or not you should seek trademark protection in China, see our other articles on the subject, contact our offices for additional information.
Franchising may be the next big step for your business and brand. So, how do you know whether or not you should franchise your business? How do you know if franchising is right for you? The answer depends on your business, your business goals, your personal goals, your budget and... read more
In this guide you’ll learn the basics of franchising, how to franchise your business, and how to win at franchising. We’ll also take a deeper dive into legal requirements for franchising and why they matter, steps to take before and after you launch your franchise, and even some tips on... read more
When considering expanding a business both franchising and licensing are possible options. In this guide, you'll learn the differences of franchising and licensing and understand how each will affect you. read more
Are you a successful business owner? Are you looking for ways to expand your business? If so, this article will provide the answers you need to decide whether franchising your business is the right step for you. In short, franchising allows you, the franchisor, to create a relationship among several... read more
Under federal law, prior offering or selling a franchise in any state, franchisors are required to disclose a franchise disclosure document (FDD) to their prospective franchisees. In addition to federal law certain states, including the franchise registration states, require that franchisors register their FDD with the state. The legal documentation... read more
For very good reasons, the questions of “is my business franchisable?” and “can my business be franchised?” come up often. Assuming that you possess the right mindset and franchise goals (a topic that we discuss in a separate article) there are core franchise factors that either your business must possess... read more
Key strategies to accelerate franchise growth for startup and emerging franchisors In this webinar, franchise attorney Charles Internicola and Nick Powills, founder of No Limit Agency and 1851 Franchise, discuss key strategies to accelerate franchise growth through PR and digital media. Some topics include: Steps franchisors should take when it... read more
One of the biggest issues for emerging franchisors is not having a plan for insurance and system-wide protection. What do emerging brands need to know when they're starting off, who should they rely on, and how can they plan ahead? Get an insurance game plan to protect your franchise system... read more
Key strategies for developing the right logo & trade dress to drive franchise growth with branding and design expert Dan Antonelli. Dan is the author of ‘Building a Big Small Business Brand’ and is the creative director of the branding firm KickCharge Creative. Learn how to drive franchise growth and... read more
With services to make your growth strategy simple, cost effective, and with a team excited to help you, let’s talk about how we can help grow your business.
Fill out the following form and we’ll contact you as soon as possible. To reach our team directly, give us a call at (800) 976-4904.