Women’s Wear Daily – The Name Game: Keeping Pirates at Bay
Vicki M. Young: Trademark infringers are a growing problem in China for American fashion brands.
Joe Simone, a Hong Kong-based intellectual property attorney, said, “The number-one message is this: The only way to avoid a lot of costs is to file in China at the same time you file in the U.S.”
According to Simone, “Chinese consumers all care about the new brands, and that has created a thriving trade in the gray market in fashion. The pirates are looking at all the new brands very early [in their life cycle], focusing on what’s been sold [for example] in Bloomingdale’s, online, what is advertised on Taobao. They do a quick search and find that a brand registration has not been filed in China and think, ‘I’ll do it first.’”
“In China, the pirates want $150,000, $200,000 and sometimes 1 million in U.S. dollars. They are willing to wait years to get their price, and in some cases, you can’t even get a price from the pirate because they are waiting for a final legal decision. Some brands will decide it’s worthwhile to pay up since they are losing money from not being able to sell in China,” Simone said.
September 12, 2018