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Invisible Gold in Asia by David Llewelyn

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Back to trademarks

Now for some golden rules with trademarks. Transliterate, or lose it. You must remember where you are. In China it is often not enough to just register a trademark like Starbucks. If you don’t register the mark by which you are actually known—the Chinese version of your mark—someone else might go and register it. Then you will have the problem of trying to have the mark cancelled, which can take up to five years. In practice, many foreign companies are not prepared to embark on the lengthy and uncertain process of trying to have the mark cancelled. Instead, they just pay the blackmail money demanded by the local company to transfer the registration.

The US coffee shop chain found this out to its cost when it brought legal proceedings ...

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