After 30 years Trademark in China More Important Than Ever

The Supreme People’s Court commemorated the first Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China in August 1982, see here. Remember 1982? It was the year when Deng Xiaoping was in power at the Zhongnanhai, Reagan in the White House and Brezhnev in the Kremlin. Deng had set out a new course for China in […]

Why Wen’s Words Are Not For T-Shirts

“Reflect on your faults”

“Keep both feet on the ground”

“Look up at the starry sky” 


These slogans seem innocuous and hardly original, nor is it obvious that they are copyrighted or trademarked. However,  the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce is investigating whether Vancl 凡客 can no longer use these slogans, because they have been used by Wen Jiaobao, the premier of China.
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Fangchenggang Fairytale: How a Magic Mercedes-Benz Became A Humble Honda

Adam Smith dedicated his World Trademark Review blog about a Mercedes-Benz police car with a Honda logo. The local Fangchenggang police force (in Guanxi province) thought that they could fool taxpayers into believing that they did not spent too much money on a police car. Read here. I think everybody understands that the police needs […]

In Honour of The Great Bruce Lee 李小龍: Fight For Trademark Protection in China and U.S.

Today it is 70 years ago that the great Bruce Lee 李 (Li=Lee)小(Xiao=little) 龍 (Long=dragon) to whom IP Dragon feels related in spirit, was born in San Francisco. He grew up in Hong Kong until his teens, then went back to the U.S. and became the biggest martial arts filmstar ever in both Hollywood and […]

Q&A on Trademark Proactive (TP), Tipi and Indian Givers

I was delighted by the questions after I uploaded my Asia Pacific IP Forum presentation in Hong Kong to Slideshare: ‘How Social Media Challenge the Brandscape for Trademark Holders‘ in which I propose a solution for trademark holders: Trademark Proactive (TP). Below I will explain some key points of TP: Why should a trademark holder […]

Uncreative Brand, Creative Brand in China

Uncreative Brand In Yangshuo, next to Guilin, Guangxi province, you can see one of the most characteristic mountains of China. But if you bike through the village, you will notice some interesting shops as well. Almost next to each other you can see a shop that embodies the old copycat mentality and one that characterises […]

How Social Media Challenge the Brandscape for the Trademark Holders

Stan Abrams (China Hearsay), Chris Bailey (Rouse), Xie Lin (CUHK) and I gave presentations about the impact of Social Media on intellectual property (and vice versa). My presentation focused on social media and trademark law. In this presentation I tried to shed light upon the challenges trademark holders are facing in these times of social […]

Brand Politics: China Should Take Advantage of Chinese Design

“Chinese companies still copy a lot of foreign design. The most important thing for China is that its businesses learn the importance of design and start designing for themselves.” Read the whole article ‘Brand Politics’, in which yours truly was interviewed by Adam Smith for World Trademark Review here (pdf).

AmCham Gives Chinese Government Recommendations About Copyright Law, Trademark Law and Patent Law

American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China (AmCham-China) issued the ‘American Business in China White Paper 2009‘ last month. Pages 45-48 pdf, with pagenumbers 88-94 are about intellectual property rights protection. Read here. AmCham-China’s recommendations to the Chinese government are: “Continue the pioneering efforts of the US Embassy and government in recent years, […]

Should Trademark Law Have a Sense of Humour?

The prolific Dutch journalist Fons Tuinstra of the China Herald reports about the Greenpeace campaign at his local Shanghai subway station to mashup corporate logos to put the environment on people’s agenda. Is it satire or plain trademark infringement? Part I here, and part II here. To my knowledge the Trademark Law does not give […]