Report provides best practices for navigating the unique intellectual property landscape in the world's largest consumer market
Thomson Reuters CompuMark, a Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property & Science business and global leader in trademark searching and brand protection solutions, today released a whitepaper outlining best practices for companies to file and protect trademarks in China. The new paper, Best Practices for Brand Expansion in China: How to Navigate a Unique Intellectual Property Landscape, identifies specific strategies companies can implement to protect their brands in one of the most challenging intellectual property environments in the world.
With over 1.3 billion consumers, China is the world's largest target market for global brand owners. However, multinational firms are quickly learning that in order to seize rampant growth opportunity in China, they must deal with the country's complex intellectual property landscape. Early leaders in the region have established a clear set of best practices for trademark filing and maintenance that greatly improves the odds of success against counterfeiters and trademark squatters.
Key data and strategies outlined in the paper include:
- Fierce Competition for Brand Protection: Between 2006 and 2012 over 5 million trademarks were published in China, a 76 percent increase in a six-year period. In 2012, China published 924,414 trademarks, the most of any nation in the world.
- File Early: China's first-to-file system for trademark registration, combined with the trademark office's new push to speed-up processing times, makes it essential for brand owners to file a mark well in advance of a Chinese brand introduction.
- File Often: Due to China's unique single-class filing system, companies need to protect their brands across all sectors, not just those in which they are active. This limits the potential for trademark squatting of brands associated with non-traditional products.
- Invest in Rigorous Anti-Counterfeiting Measures: The best way to fight counterfeiting is to implement a systematic approach to identifying the source of the problem. The time spent pursuing the leaders of counterfeiting practices will vastly outweigh the cost of systematically going after each individual infringer.
"With trademark activity by both domestic and foreign entities on the rise and given the country's overall effort to encourage the effective management of intellectual property assets, China is asserting itself as a serious player in the world and intellectual property economy," said Viji Krishnan, general manager and vice president, Thomson Reuters CompuMark. "While there is no perfect solution for protecting multinational trademarks in China, with the right cultural know-how and shrewd navigation of a complicated regulatory framework, brand owners are in the best position in years to build a strong consumer base in the country."
Thomson Reuters CompuMark, with more than 40 years of trademark search, clearance and watch experience, protects nearly all of the world's top brands and is used by leading trademark law firms around the globe. Read more on Best Practices for Brand Expansion in China: How to Navigate a Unique Intellectual Property Landscape.