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Data Analysis of Trademark Lawsuits in Chinese Courts in 2016

This data analysis is based on the judgement and decisions of trademark cases tried and settled by Chinese courts from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 (“the Sample Statistics”) collected by www.iphouse.cn. Along with the rocketing of new filings and the cumulative total, the number of trademark-related lawsuits has also seen overall growth.


Detailed analysis is mainly detailed into three parts:Civil Lawsuits,Administrative Cases and the Analysis on Squatting of Foreign Trademarks.


Among civil lawsuits, in 2016, a total of 350 foreign-related cases of first instance were concluded, accounting for 3% of all first-instance cases. And most foreign-related cases are concentrated in Shanghai, Guangdong and Zhejiang, which are economically developed regions with a high degree of openness.The foreign parties are mostly plaintiffs, which indicates that the foreign parties have comparatively superior intellectual property rights in the Chinese market.


As for the administrative cases, in 2016, 1,481 administrative foreign-related trademark cases of first instance were settled by Chinese courts and all were related to administrative disputes of trademark application. And foreign-related parties generally were petitioners, showing that the foreign-related parties actively safeguarded legal rights in most cases.


There were 203 foreign-related cases of trademark squatting where a foreign party raised the “trademark squatting” issue as counterargument or reason for opposition, taking up 94.4% of cases of trademark squatting concerning foreign affairs. Nowadays, foreign enterprises pay more attention to the protection of trademark and brand in China, and Chinese courts tend to give rather strong protection to foreign trademark owners.


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