Sunday, February 26, 2017

Yahong Li on the French-Chinese Dispute over Feiyue Sneakers (SCMP)

Lucy Christie
South China Morning Post
24 February 2017
When it comes to the sincerest form of flattery – imitation – Chinese companies are often considered to be the champions. From popular luxury handbags and Rolls-Royce cars to smartphones and even KFC fast food, there is little they won’t duplicate. Additionally, Chinese transliterations for famous Western brand names are trademarked in China, putting the original innovators in a bind when they want to sell in China.
     Now, the tables may be turning, with one French business finding inspiration in a Chinese product and giving the design a sophisticated makeover. And not everyone in China is happy with the turn of events.
    Dr Li Yahong, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong who specialises in intellectual property law, says that from a legal perspective a trademark is protected territorially, and on a first-to-file basis.
     “As long as the Chinese company has not registered its Feiyue mark in France, the French company can register it in France without getting anyone’s approval, and its registered mark is protected in France,” she says... Click here to read the full article.

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