CHINA plans to crack down on "malicious" trademark registrations, after a
series of cases in which international brands and individuals had their names or
Basketball legend Michael Jordan was one of the latest to accuse a company of using his name without permission, and French luxury group Hermes and Apple have also faced trademark problems.
The proposed amendment will offer protection to major international brands, giving copyright owners the right to ban others from registering their trademarks or from using similar ones, even if such trademarks are not registered, Xinhua news agency reported.
The draft increases the ceiling for fines imposed on trademark violators from 500,000 yuan (US$80,179) to 1 million yuan in the event that financial losses and gains from the infringement cannot be determined.
The fines were raised with the consideration that the owners of trademarks that are infringed upon often spend great sums of money in taking violators to court.
Basketball star Michael Jordan filed a lawsuit in China in February against a Chinese sportswear company, accusing the firm of unauthorized use of his name.
The former Chicago Bulls star said Qiaodan Sports, a company in southern Fujian Province, had built its business around his Chinese name "Qiaodan" and jersey number without his permission.
France's Hermes International SCA also had problems in China with its trademark, and in July Apple Inc agreed to pay US$60 million to Proview Technology (Shenzhen) to end a protracted legal dispute over the iPad trademark in China.