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People’s Daily: How Far is China to be Trademark Powerful Country?

Since May 1, 2014 the officially implementation of the revised Trademark Law, by this September, China accumulatively has 17.6417 million trademark applications and 11.7629 registrations, which ranked number 1 for 13 years consecutively.

   “China has been a trademark big country without any doubt, trademark values and competitiveness were also improved accordingly”, said by Liu Junchen, vice Minister of SAIC during his topic speech at China’s Trademark Festival on October 17, “There was a big space to expand as to the functions of trademarks in serving economy and promoting enterprises’ development. There was also a need to increase the protection power to trademark rights. Therefore China has a long way to go on the road to trademark powerful country.”

  Currently, the developed countries and their manufactures more and more depend on brands. The developing countries compared with those high income countries have wider awareness to use trademarks and brands. According to 2015 Global Innovation Indicator Report, Swiss ranked number 1 for 5 consecutive years as to the innovation. Enterprises in Swiss more and more rely on trademarks and brands.

  By the end of this August, the accumulative Madrid international trademark registrations reached 19590. Some China’s famous enterprises would like to use international mergers to quicken their brands’ internationalization, such as Lenovo acquired the PC business from IBM, Geely also purchased Volvo. However, the number of famous brands having international competitiveness was still very small. The export of products having independent brands only took a ratio of 11%. In the Top 500 Global Brands compiled by WBL in 2004, there were only 4 Chinese brands. There were still only 29 brands in the list in 2014. According to the Global Brand Value List issued in 2015 by Interbrand, there were only “Huawei” and “Lenovo” in it. 

  From the brand list, also there were Chinese enterprises but their ranks were not high. As to this phenomenon, Professor Ding Junjie from CUC indicated that three aspects were needed for China’s brands’ development. First was to foster their self-confidence beyond material level. Second was to realize the global manufacture of modern brands mainly relied on the localization of global products. The Global manufacture was important to create modern brand. Third was to create subject consciousness during the brand building and to extend the understandings from things to peoples. For example, when we bought Benz, we bought actually the preciseness of the German; we bought TOTO for the manufactures’ exquisiteness; we bought iPhone for American innovation.

  Professor Ding also pointed out only through above work and changes, it was far from enough to realize the target of building a brand powerful country. We also needed to truly understand trademark’s functions, created a good market environment for their growth and development and promoted to follow the principle of Honest and Credibility in trademark registrations, utilizations and rights protections.

  Currently, some enterprises and people in China registered many trademarks, not wish to use them but to sell them. Jin Kesheng, vice presiding judge of IP tribunal of the People’s Supreme Court indicated that those registrations which lacked real intentions of use, and legitimated foundation, violated Trademark Law and its regulated registration system. The public should correctly understand the functions of trademarks, the purposes and spirits of trademark system, therefore enterprises could without hesitation, have stable pre-judgments to foster the brands and to prohibit infringements. The enterprises could input their vitalities into the innovations for products, techniques, managements and markets. The brand economy could boost new energies and go into road of a virtuous circle and a healthy development.

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