New Articles
  November 14th, 2016 | Written by

Clarifying Rules of Engagement for Brand Protection in China

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]


  • Substantial responsibility for IP failure lies with brands and not with China’s enforcement authorities.
  • China now leads the world in the number of registered trademarks.
  • New book shows how to reduce risk and benefit from the existing Chinese IP system.

One of the world’s leading authorities on intellectual property litigation in China has authored a comprehensive guide to dealing with trademark protection and enforcement in that important market. In Rules of Engagement: Trademark Strategies, Protection and Enforcement in China, Paolo Beconcini of the law firm Squire Patton Boggs’ global brand protection, trademark, and copyright team shares his insights on how law and business interact in China’s trademark context, drawing on years of experience of advising international companies investing in China.

In terms of the number of registered trademarks, the Chinese market now leads the world. The book, published by Wolters Kluwer, offers practical guidance for foreign brand owners seeking strategies that realistically engage with the Chinese legal and business landscape, showing how to reduce risk and benefit from the existing system.

In detailed discussion of actual cases (in industries as diverse as automotive, clothing, wine, pharmaceuticals, electronic devices, and sports apparel) Beconcini identifies common patterns and demonstrates that, aside from certain malfunctions of the trademark system, a substantial amount of responsibility for failure lies in the strategies pursued by brands and not with China’s enforcement authorities.

Based for many years in Beijing, Beconcini advises companies seeking IP protection in China and legal action against infringers, advising on issues of law and enforcement, conducting evidence gathering and piloting their cases through the Chinese legal system. He regularly appears in Chinese courts and attends raids on local counterfeiters. He leads business intelligence teams that pursue evidence of counterfeiting operations across a number of sectors, particularly in China’s automotive, chemical, and mechanical industries, as well as in its fashion and consumer products industries.

“If you know the rules, you can play the game,” said Beconcini. “The book is intended to lay bare the rules of engagement, and it covers not just the latest legal and market developments but also the lessons learned through direct experience of investigation and litigation accumulated over many years. First and foremost, this is for clients and I hope the book will help them articulate strategies to protect their brands. I hope too that the book’s revelations about how anti-counterfeiting really works will help China bring about a change in the way state bodies enforce trademark rights.”