Many well known brand in the UK have had the rights to their names in China snapped up without their permission by trademark "squatters". The Daily Telegraph did a investigation and they revealed that very few British companies own the Chinese rights to their names, posing a potential hurdle to attempts to expand their business in the country. China's trademarks operate on a "first-to-register" basis, which means whoever registers their brand first has the rights to it.
Lawyers claim that subsequent attempts to win back a brand name through the Chinese courts only have a small chance of success and companies can end up paying to take back the rights. Many brands, such as for example Dixons, John Lewis, Waitrose, Asda and Sainsbury's are registered to Chinese businesses and individuals, some of whom may be "squatters", registering the brand in order to hold companies to ransom.
"It is certainly a problem if somebody's warehousing or sitting on marks that are well known in the UK," said Paul Jordan, partner in the brands group at the law firm Bristows. He also mentioned that if companies could not demonstrate that they had a sufficient global reputation in China to surpass the third-party trademark, or prove the trademark had not been used, then companies would have to consider to options, either using a different name in China or pay to regain rights to their name. Unfortunately it has happened quite often is that business had to open up their cheque books. According to a lawyer in the US who’s frim specializes in China, stated that the cheapest and easiest thing to do is to set up in China by using a new brand name.
There are also cases where other companies face the prospect of sharing their brand, and possibly even their logo, with a Chinese firm that has registered it in a different category.
Source: The Telegraph
We found Trademarkhost to be very prompt and professional in everything they do and keen to grasp and fully understand our requirements. Not forgetting to mention, their ability to deliver at a competitive price.B. McGlynn - Outback, Ireland
I am very happy that I have chosen Trademarkhost. The communication with the Trademarkhost attorneys has also been very pleasant. Every time you call or contact them, they are prepared to help.Mr. A. Sarra, USA
Trademarkhost is well skilled in everything trademarks. They were always there to answer my questions during every step of the way, simply great people. Trademarkhost gave me and my business the chance to focus on what we do best.G.P. Kebbe, Lebanon
Trademarkhost did a very good job at expediting our trademark registrations in the EU.C. Bond , Australia
I was really satisfied with the service and activity of Trademarkhost of performing a trademark search and on providing recommendations and estimations.R. Torkelund, Luxemburg
I’ve chosen Trademarkhost as our worldwide trademark representative because they always gave me immediate and professional response with regard to all my questions.M. Marina - INNOTEC, Moscow
They were efficient and responsive in handling our trademark matters, and always provided us with positive and sound advice, which shows their professionalism and experience in this field.Ms. Uttamchandani - D2UK Fashion, Hong Kong
Trademark Portfolio management
Handling Trademark refusals
Handling Trademark oppositions