Edited by Robert Bird and Subhash C. Jain
Chapter 5: Protecting Well Known Marks in China: Challenges for Foreign Mark Holders
Stephanie M. Greene INTRODUCTION China has made substantial progress in terms of complying with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations and bringing its intellectual property laws into conformity with the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS). In the 2007 Special 301 Report, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recognized the continued progress China has made in improving intellectual property (IP) protection. Nevertheless, China was listed on the Priority Watch List again and the United States sought WTO consultation on several discrete issues involving China’s inadequate protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). The problems that persist with protecting IPR in China stem primarily from an inability or unwillingness to enforce the laws and to deter illegal activity. Inadequate enforcement of IP laws may be attributed to a lack of political will, an unwieldy bureaucracy, cultural intransigence and local protectionism. It seems impossible to detect the extent to which these various factors inﬂuence the continued escalation of IP infringement in a country that is developing economically and socially at an unprecedented pace. China’s professed commitment and determination to fulﬁl its international obligations and plan for its long-term interests is compromised by conﬂict with the immediate demands and concerns of local enterprises and populations (Chow, 2006). Consequently, although China continues to emphasize improvements in IPR protection, multinational enterprises (MNEs) that have entered the market in China face challenges in protecting IPR. As a member of the WTO, China is required to have national laws and regulations that...
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