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7 Reasons You Should Register Your New Zealand Trade Mark in China

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In today’s global market, protecting your intellectual property rights is essential. Registering your trade mark in New Zealand is an important first step. However, if you are considering expanding your business into China, registering your New Zealand trade mark in China is also essential. This article will take you through seven benefits of registering your New Zealand trade mark in China.

1. Protection of Your Intellectual Property Rights

Registering your trade mark in China provides legal protection of your intellectual property rights. China is known for its “first-to-file” trade mark system, which means that the first individual or entity to file for a trade mark will own it. This means that if you do not register your New Zealand trade mark in China, someone else could register a similar or identical trade mark, potentially preventing you from protecting your own brand in China.

2. Access to a Large and Growing Market

China has one of the world’s largest populations, and its middle class is growing rapidly. Further, Chinese consumers are increasingly interested in foreign products and brands. Both of these factors present a significant opportunity for New Zealand businesses. Registering your New Zealand trade mark in China can establish your brand and reputation in this large and growing market.

With a registered trade mark, you can also differentiate your brand from other similar products in the Chinese market. As a result, consumers will recognise your brand, which can increase sales for your business.

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3. Protection Against Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting is a serious issue in China. It impacts both local and international businesses. Fortunately, the Chinese government has recognised the damage that counterfeiting can cause and has taken significant steps to combat the issue in recent years. These efforts include:

  • increased law enforcement;
  • stricter penalties for intellectual property rights violation; and
  • the establishment of specialised intellectual property courts.

By registering your trade mark in China, you can take advantage of these efforts and protect your brand from counterfeiters. You can take action against any entity that infringes on your trade mark rights, including counterfeiters, once your trade mark is registered.

Additionally, registering your trade mark with Chinese Customs can help prevent counterfeit products from entering the country. Chinese Customs is responsible for inspecting imports and exports and can detain any shipments containing counterfeit products.

If your New Zealand trade mark is not registered in China, you could be vulnerable to legal disputes with Chinese entities. Such disputes can be costly and time-consuming and can damage your reputation. By registering your trade mark in China, you can avoid these disputes altogether.

Registered trade marks are easier to enforce than unregistered trade marks under Chinese law. With a registered trade mark, you have the legal protection you need to take action against anyone who infringes on your trade mark.

5. Building Trust with Chinese Consumers

In China, building trust with consumers is essential to the success of any business. Chinese consumers place a great deal of importance on trust and credibility and are more likely to buy products from businesses they perceive as trustworthy. By registering your trade mark in China, you can demonstrate to Chinese consumers that you are a legitimate and trustworthy business.

When Chinese consumers see that your trade mark is registered in China, it sends a message that your business is serious about protecting its intellectual property rights and is committed to establishing a long-term presence in the Chinese market. It also shows that you have invested in your brand and are willing to take the necessary steps to protect it.

6. Protecting Your Brand from Squatters

Trade mark squatting is a common practice in China and can harm businesses. Trade mark ‘squatters’ register trade marks that are similar or identical to established trade marks with the intention of selling the trade mark back to the original trade mark owner at a high price. This practice can be costly and time-consuming for businesses, as they may have to engage in lengthy legal battles to regain control of their own brand.

Fortunately, by registering your New Zealand trade mark in China, you can protect your brand from trade mark squatters. When you register your trade mark in China, it will be listed in the Chinese Trade Mark Office’s database and may help deter potential infringements. In addition, if someone tries to use or register a trade mark that is similar or identical to your registered trade mark, you can take legal action to protect your brand.

7. Access to Chinese E-commerce Platforms

China has a rapidly growing e-commerce market, with major platforms like Alibaba and JD.com dominating the market. If you want to sell your products in China, having a presence on these platforms is essential.

However, when selling on these platforms, it is crucial to have your trade mark registered and protected in China. Without a registered trade mark, you may not be able to enforce your rights and file complaints via the e-commerce platforms to take down listings that potentially infringe on your rights.

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Trade Mark Essentials in New Zealand

Our free Trade Mark Essentials in New Zealand guide explains how to register and defend your trade mark registration.

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Key Takeaways

Registering your New Zealand trade mark in China is crucial if you are considering expanding your business into the Chinese market. By doing so, you can:

  • protect your intellectual property rights;
  • gain access to a large and growing market;
  • protect your brand from counterfeiting and squatting;
  • avoid costly legal disputes;
  • build trust with Chinese consumers; and
  • gain valuable access to Chinese e-commerce platforms.

If you need assistance registering your New Zealand trade mark overseas, our experienced trade mark lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 0800 005 570 or visit our membership page.

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