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Beijing IP Court continues fight against malicious trademark registration

By CAO YIN | | Updated: 2022-05-14 14:17
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Beijing Intellectual Property Court pledged to continue its fight against malicious trademark registration, with equal IP protection given to litigants from home and abroad.

"Over the past few years, our court has paid close attention to fighting those who register trademarks with malicious intent. We've not only researched how to prevent the problem, but also strengthened the review on trademark use," Jin Xuejun, president of the IP Court, said at a seminar on Friday.

The seminar was held by the court and the International Trademark Association via video link, focusing on law issues involving trademark registration and protection.

Malicious trademark registrations generally are applications that violate the principles of legitimacy and good faith, including trademark squatting, appropriation and imitation, infringements of others' prior rights, misuse of public resources and massive or repeated registration in bad faith.

Highlighting the importance of trademark protection, Jin added during the seminar that the court has always said "No" to trademark squatting and intensified inspection on those who never used trademarks after registration.

Besides disapproving such improper trademark applications or announcing them invalid, Zhou Liting, a judge from the IP Court, said that Chinese Trademark Law also provides administrative punishments for agents with such wrongdoings, including warnings and fines.

She added that the intensified efforts of IP administrations in cracking down on malicious trademark registration will contribute to avoiding or reducing the IP owners' costs in protecting legitimate rights if improper application is found.

Joel Blank from the association said that the court's useful exploration in fighting malicious trademark registration is through integrated or comprehensive perspective.

When the court hears IP-related disputes, including those on trademarks, "we've always given equal protection to litigants, no matter where they're from," Jin said.

In addition, the court has also taken measures to better protect foreign litigants' rights during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, such as filing and hearing cases online.

Zeeger Vink, the association's president, lauded China's efforts in IP protection in his speech, expressing his agreement on the country's building of four courts to specialize in handling IP cases.

Besides the Beijing one, the three other specialized courts are in Shanghai, Guangdong and Hainan provinces to better face the rapid growth of IP disputes and provide a better innovation environment for the market entities.

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