In part one of our blog, we outline some of the initial changes to China’s Trademark Law, specifically the Trademark Infringement and Bad Faith Trademark Application. To read the first part of the series, click here. In this blog we are going to outline the consequences of trademark infringement.
Article 33, of China’s new trademark law, goes on to make this process even more safe by allowing anyone to lodge an objection with the China Trademark Office if they have reason to believe the application was made in bad faith. Furthermore, the China Trademark Office can revoke a false trademark registration, or it can be made invalid by the Trademark Review and Adjustment Board when another individual or organization files a complaint. Also, concerning Articles 19 and 68, the new law states that the China Trademark Office cannot, by law, accept any trademark registration if it is known that it is being made in bad faith. If a Trademark agency violates this law, they are subject to penalties.
Heightened Punishment for Trademark Bad Faith and Infringement
For those who get caught filing a bad faith trademark registration or who infringe upon a trademark already registered to another individual or corporation, the punishment has been increased three-fold. Punitive damages have been increased from RMB 3 million to RMB 5 million or $427,000 and $710,000, respectively. The new law also aims to eliminate the negative effects of trademark infringement. For example, in Article 63, when a person is found guilty of impersonating a trademark, like Versace, the court is allowed to destroy the counterfeit goods when ordered by the actual trademark holder. Finally, the new law continues to uphold that counterfeit commodities are banned from commercial channels once the trademark infringement has been discovered and removed.
All in all, the changes to China’s new trademark law seems to be heading in the right direction. The new law offers protection for foreign brand owners, and this creates a more trusted environment for trade with other countries, including the United States. Trade is an important part of every country’s economy, and China is taking the necessary steps to secure a trade for themselves and others around the world.