Trademark experts strongly emphasized the responsibility of American businesses to register immediately their names in China in order to avoid becoming the preys of brand squatters. They said that U.S companies, regardless whether they have future plans for expansion in the Asian country or none, need to enlist their names as quickly as possible. This action is necessary in order for them to avoid losing their business name for other local industries in mainland China.
Stephen Baker who works at Baker & Rannells as a trademark lawyer, stated that international brand name squatting is very similar to domain name squatting. The attorney added that cases of name squatting in the internet have increased as with the growing fame of the web and online businesses. He noted that businesses that did not immediately register the name of their company as their web address usually found out that another online industry was also sharing the same trademark with them. Surprisingly, some of these brand squatters even successfully obtained a huge amount of cash from individuals or big time companies that sought to maintain and fully own their web domain name.
Baker commented that trademark squatting works in similar manner. There are opportunists who think that they could earn plenty of cash by using and registering the brands of popular and successful international or U.S businesses in their own country. China is particularly cited as a place where numerous cases of business name squatting takes place.
In fact, the lawyer mentioned that his law firm currently handles several cases of brand name piracy most of which relate to China. At present, his law firm is involved in a cancellation case wherein a Chinese business attempted to enlist a name that pertained to a liquor company that is popular both in the United States and Europe. The attorney said that the alcohol industry’s U.K branch went to China in order to enlist the business. But the company was surprised to discover that a local business had already registered a similar trademark.
In order to avoid cases of trademark squatting, which can result to huge losses, large industries in the U.S are advised to quickly file their company brand especially in the regions where cases of business name squatting are prevalent. Owen Smigelski, another trademark legal counsel, commented that in the past few years, their cases of trademark squatting increased and most of which are connected with Asian nations in the southeast region. He commented that while the litigation procedures could amount to thousands of U.S dollars, it only costs barely $1,000 to enlist a brand name.