For emerging designers and established brands alike, navigating China’s copyright protection system might seem like a daunting task. In China, your rights are protected as long as your trademark is registered. But in the U.S., Last month the French luxury label Louboutin successfully defended its red-sole stilettos from copycats without a trademark registration.
Article 6 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law of China was readily applied because it addresses the scenario where the brand owner has not yet acquired a prior registered trademark in China.
Louboutin proved that its red sole shoes as a commodity and its sole red decoration have a high fame and influence in the market, and therefore protected its rights according to the Unfair Competition Law.
The rampage of bad-faith trademark squatters in the market, who are quick to snatch up any popular corporate names, signs and designs, then gain a profit from trademark buybacks, is another common issue that brands and creators face in the China market.
But there’s good news for brands: in recent years, the China National Intellectual Property Administration has strengthened the protection of well-known trademarks.