How many times have you received unsolicited yet “urgent” emails like this one?
This email is from XXX Intellectual Property Agency, which mainly deal with the IPR registration and dispute internationally. We recently received an application from XXX. They want to register your company’s trademark in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and some Domain name (.asia/.cn/.com.cn/.hk/.com.hk/.tw/.com.tw).
After our examination, we found that your company were using the keyword, so we inform you to confirm whether this registration will affect your company. If this registration will not affect and conflict your company, then we can finish registering for the applicant as per our duty. If this registration will affect and conflict your company. Please contact us by telephone or email within 10 workdays, so we can better handle the dispute.
A lot of companies often receive such emails. Please be assured that those are spam emails. This is a very common tactic of unethical agents either to promote their services or to fraud potential applicants.
However, such spam emails, although annoying, might not be worthless. They might serve to remind companies receiving such emails to review their IP situation/strategy in China. Even if the company has no commercial presence in China but does have Chinese business partners such as suppliers or distributors, it is still important for the client to register their trademark as well as other key IP rights in China. It is always much easier, not to mention cheaper, to register IP rights than to fight off squatted ones.
About the author(s)
Dr. Jian Xu is an internationally recognized China intellectual property expert. He is the Managing Director and Head of IP Prosecution of Gowling WLG Beijing. He has been a dually qualified Chinese lawyer and patent/trademark attorney since 2006 and has handled all aspects of IP in China.