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Overseas trademarks

 

Nov 2020
Whether at home or abroad, building a well-known brand is a process that requires considerable and continuous investment. As the protection of trademarks is territorial, trademarks that are only registered domestically are not protected overseas.
According to incomplete statistics, the percentage of well-known domestic trademarks being squatted overseas is as high as 15%. More than 2,000 export goods trademarks have been squatted in the past 20 years, causing China a loss of $1 billion in intangible assets each year.
For example, “Pixian Douban” has been squatted in Canada, “Hisense” has been squatted by Siemens in Europe etc. After these trademarks were squatted, the cost of rights protection was too high for domestic enterprises and they ended up giving up on the market.
The following explains in detail why one should apply for overseas trademarks
1. Trademark protection is territorial
Trademarks registered in a certain country or region can only have their intellectual property rights protected in that country or region (EU trademarks are valid for member countries). Therefore, registering one’s trademark overseas can prevent others from infringing on one’s trademark rights. One can have their trademark rights protected overseas and have their trademark become an international brand at the same time.
2. Avoid overseas trademark squatting
Squatting of overseas trademarks happens all the time. If a trademark is maliciously squatted by others overseas, the enterprise will suffer heavy losses. If they opt for litigation, high fees would be incurred for the protection of rights. Even if they can redeem or acquire the right to use the trademark, they would lose a considerable sum of money. In serious cases, the enterprise might even be forced to change their trademark brand or give up on the market. Therefore, an overseas registered trademark can also protect one’s trademark, preventing it from being squatted by others.
3. Early entry into overseas markets
The registration cycle of overseas trademarks is relatively long – most countries require 1-2 years. If you want to enter the overseas market, trademark registration needs to be done in advance, then you can enjoy more rights. Otherwise, the overseas expansion plan will be affected due to late registration. If the services are mainly provided domestically, there is no need to rush to register the overseas trademark.
4. Affects brand value
A trademark is a type of intangible asset – its value will increase as the enterprise's reputation increases. However, if the trademark is not registered overseas or is squatted by others, the external evaluation of the enterprise's asset value will be directly affected. After the overseas trademark is registered, the enterprise can protect themselves and build an international brand in a short period of time.
5. Enjoy special subsidies
At present, some national and regional governments provide high subsidies. Small and medium-sized enterprises are treated with preferential policy for their overseas trademark registrations and are subsidized in proportion to the money spent on their registration application. For example, Shenzhen companies can apply for a monetary subsidy of 5,000 to 10,000 RMB for their overseas trademark registration. As the international trademarks’ country of registration is different, their examination systems and required costs are also different. If you are considering registering an overseas trademark, you could consult a professional agency in detail to ensure that the trademark meets the application criteria. At the same time, you could also inquire whether similar trademarks being squatted.
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BKIP Limited

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