In a recent article on Yahoo, it was reported that trademark and copyright infringement was taken to a new level in China. While it has been common knowledge that China does not diligently enforce intellectual property rights, the fact that it lets a full store be created is almost humorous. This isn’t a copy of the newest DVD or a purse. This is an entire store – as described in the article, it is a store that appears to be an Apple Store in ever aspect. It has the white paint, the Apple logo, macs and iPads (whether legitimate ones is a question). Minus, of course, that it isn’t owned by Apple. It even has employees, who wear the blue shirts and Apple-like employee badges, who stated they thought they were working for Apple.
As intellectual property becomes more valuable – whether it is in the form of software, pictures, websites, or the look and feel of a store – companies are working harder to protect it. In the United States, to enforce intellectual property rights usually starts with a cease and desist letter. In the cases where this doesn’t work, courts will hear the case and judge appropriately. However, what do you do with a country that has no enforcement?
In order to become part of the larger picture, China is going to have to start enforcing intellectual property rights or it is going to remain the stepchild of the IP world. Why would a company want to enter into a country where its very identity could be easily stolen? Let this article serve as a warning to any company that is looking to do international business with countries that are lax in their enforcement.
If you have questions about your rights in intellectual property or want to trademark or copyright your newest creations, contact your Denver business lawyer today at 720-258-6647.