China, having one of the largest trademark offices in the world, has recently passed ground-breaking trademark legislation that will now give trademark owners more teeth when enforcing their rights and send the message that China will no longer tolerate trademark violations.
The new law provisions, with their steep penalties, are designed to deter potential infringers. Some highlights of the new laws include an increase of six (6) times the previous maximum statutory damages award (from ~ $82,000 to now ~ $500,000); treble damages for acts done in bad faith and an increase in administrative penalties allowing for, inter alia, maximum fines up to 500% of profits obtained illegally.
The new laws also significantly expedite the examination process and introduce a streamlined opposition procedure. Implementation Regulations are currently in the works as China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress seeks to draft regulations which will address the concerns of the industry.
Stay tuned for more as the methods for enforcing these new laws enter the trademark arena…