Defend your brand against infringers? Just do it.
While the trademark war against Chinese infringers seems to be never-ending, every small victory brings hope for a fairer future. Victories like the one New Balance had last year are important and may influence the outcome of future disputes.
One of the most well-known logotypes in the world is the Nike “Swoosh” logo. The fact that it is so recognizable also makes it vulnerable to infringement and counterfeits. Nike has fought countless legal battles to protect it, one of the most recent against the Chinese company Guirenniao.
In 2016, Guirenniao applied for an international registration based on a Chinese figurative trademark. The logo is similar to Nike’s Swoosh, but upside down and with a small additional detail. Following oppositions from Nike, 13 of the of the 55 countries included in the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) refused Guirenniao’s application in total and two countries only partially.
Oppositions are still possible in some of the other countries and presumably, Nike will continue the fight. Every refusal is a step in the right direction and may give weight to Nike’s claim that Guirenniao’s mark is confusingly similar.
It is now five months since U.S President Donald Trump signed off for the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to investigate whether any of China’s laws or practices are harming U.S intellectual property rights. It is believed that a first statement will be given in the near future, well ahead of the statutory deadline in August 2018.
Do you want to know more about protecting intellectual properties in China? Maybe your company is already operating there, or is about to launch. Regardless what kind of help you require, Otmore’s experts have extensive experience dealing with intellectual property rights all over the world.
As a part of our proactive approach, we offer a free trademark analysis with every registration before filing it, to highlight any potential risks and obstacles. When a trademark application has been accepted, we recommend that you use our in-house developed watching service. It’s a software that monitors applications for identical or even similar trademarks, enabling you to act in an early stage to prevent them from being registered. Contact us if you want to know more about our services, we are happy to help!