24 August 2017

Record Payout For New Balance in Chinese Trade Mark Case

US sportswear brand New Balance won a record payout in a Chinese trade mark case, BBC News reported today.

Three local shoemakers were found to have infringed the brand’s famous “N” logo and were forced to pay out more than 10 million yuan (£1.2m; $1.5m).

Lawyers believe this to be the highest ever awarded to a foreign company in a trade mark dispute in China. This is a substantial increase from previous penalties, as China continues to tighten its laws against infringement.

In a recent article for the MTA, Rob Hawley highlighted that Chinese businesses are very IP savvy, and clearly see the value in registration and enforcement of their IP rights in China. The numbers are staggering. China received 2.88 million single-class trade mark applications in 2015, an increase of 24% from 2014. 96% of applications were from domestic applicants. Every year, the Chinese authorities oversee hundreds of thousands of administrative trade mark disputes (oppositions, revocations and cancellation actions).

We have put together a summary of hints and tips for businesses planning to trade in China. This includes information about using agents and manufacturers, ramifications of the business and legal culture, as well as important considerations for protecting your brand.  To download the guide please click here.

If you have any questions about the article, or if you are planning to begin trading in China, please speak to our trade mark team.