Is this one of the ways to fight Chinese counterfeits?

Every day, we come across articles about trademark counterfeits in China.

The existence of industrial property rights is obviously the absolute prerequisite for possible legal action. However, owning rights for the commercial territories in which one operates is not necessarily sufficient because, when counterfeits leave the Chinese territory, it is often difficult to block them before they go any further.

Taking proactive steps to anticipate problems is therefore a way to both obtain better results as well as to place maximum limits on legal expenses.

From this perspective, the most efficient and pragmatic way to fight against counterfeits that we can recommend seems to be the use of the Chinese customs authorities. 

How does the system work?

  • The system involves the registration of one’s rights with the Chinese customs authorities
  • This system concerns both imports and exports (thus all transits passing through the customs authorities)
  • When a suspicious product is detected, the customs officials inform the legitimate rights owners, who have 3 days from the notification to confirm the blocking of products in customs (a fee is usually requested).
  • The counterfeit procedure then follows in the usual manner.
  • It is advisable to inform customs of your potential authorized Chinese manufacturers in order to avoid having your products blocked.

How can a person register their rights with the Chinese customs authorities?

  • To register with customs it is necessary to present a certificate of incorporation, a copy of the trademark registration certificate (a class listing) or of the relevant model, a power of attorney, photos of the relevant products, and to have a local representative who can liaise with customs (if not, a local lawyer).
  • This formality covers the right for its entire life cycle and concerns all Chinese customs ports.