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is a partner with Adsero IP. She specializes in IP strategies in China and is also a US counsel to one of the largest IP law firms in Beijing. Amy started out her career as a corporate finance attorney doing cross-border transactions between the US and China. She has since worked for some of the world’s largest law firms from brand launching, anti-counterfeiting to civil/criminal enforcements and high-profile trademark and copyright litigations.
For more information or to contact Amy, please visit her Firm Profile Page.
For months now, the news has been plastered with updates on COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has upended lives and trickled into near every facet of the modern experience. Across the political aisle, consumers and producers are questioning the current level of reliance on Chinese production for drugs, ventilators, and masks. Despite these concerns, most manufacturing alternatives, including India, are still working to reestablish normalcy, making China even more indispensable. Realistically, China is and will remain the dominant player for outsourcing production for at least the next five years. Now that Chinese factories are producing close to their full capacity, foreign investors should refocus their attention to newfound legal issues that may complicate the supply chain.
Despite the tough talk in Washington D.C., the ability to expand your business internationally to countries such as China is exciting. But what are the steps? How do you do it and what are the issues? Some of the most common starting points include contracting an advertisement agency to run a $2 million marketing campaign on WeChat, opening an online store at JD or TMALL, and/or finding a retailer/distributor to sell your products in exchange for a percentage of each sale. But here’s the main question: What if your trademark is not registered in China?
Doing business in China is exciting and potentially lucrative; however, there are “hidden” traps. Most of these hidden traps have been extensively discussed in the Western world – for example, China’s unique subclass system and its massive counterfeiting issue. One area in which we haven’t seen a lot of discussion but has certainly triggered some headaches is the idea – or rather, the requirement – that a business should “register” its website with the Chinese government.