May 14, 2021
"US trademark filings from China soar, but law firms struggle to capitalise amid warnings of suspicious activity," in World Trademark Review
Principals Cynthia Walden and Kristen McCallion were quoted in a World Trademark Review article, “US trademark filings from China soar, but law firms struggle to capitalise amid warnings of suspicious activity.”
Rise of the Chinese representatives
"There is obviously an increased desire by Chinese companies to file trademark applications in the US, and they are doing so through less established channels." The question, then, is why tens of thousands of Chinese applicants are not choosing more established firms when they look to file trademarks in the country. Walden suggests it is probably "something to do with a higher comfort level of working with native Chinese speakers" and also "to do with cost".
Addressing the issue
For now, the USPTO's email inbox for suspicious specimens is the first step the office has taken to address tackle the issue, but Kristen McCallion, chair of Fish & Richardson’s Copyright Group, tells World Trademark Review that the problem is "pervasive enough that the USPTO should consider additional initiatives". She suggested some possible courses of action: "There are some measures that could be taken to help identify fake specimens when they are submitted to the USPTO, and also help in the implementation of protocols for the removal of the same: firstly, additional training and education for examiners to spot the common signs of fake specimens; secondly, utilising image recognition software to initially review submitted specimens to flag any filings with signs of them being fake; thirdly, imposing fees or sanctions against US attorneys that are knowingly (or negligently) submitting fake specimens; and finally, making it easier to report or flag applications suspected as fake, prompting further review."
To read the full article, click here.
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