On January 2, 2020, Andrew Price was quoted in World Trademark Review about Chinese trademark filings at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to the article, some Chinese applicants have flooded the USPTO with applications using fake specimens of use and other false claims of use.
While this is not solely a Chinese phenomenon, such was the USPTO's concern that it has now amended its rules in a bid to encourage a higher level of scrutiny of applications from overseas parties. Foreign-domiciled applicants, registrants, and parties to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings are now required to be represented by a U.S. attorney.
Price acknowledges that the new requirement has cut filing activity. "At the current pace, based on an informal search, it appears these filings are on track to decrease by 50% or more, with individual filers making up a smaller percentage of applicants than they did before the date of change," he reports.
He also notes that recent amendments to China's Trademark Law may be contributing to this trend as well. "Effective 1 November 2019, bad-faith filers of applications in China and their agents are subject to fines. This could start to put a dent in the 'infringement' and 'extortion' culture that exists in the community of bad-faith filers and infringers in China, though it is unlikely to disappear."
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