It is well-reported that Apple’s iPad® product embodies technological advances that are protected by U.S. and foreign patents. One would also assume that it is protected by trademarks in various jurisdictions, including China. However, to this day, Apple struggles to prefect its iPad trademark rights in China, the second largest economy in the world. While the Chinese trademark registration approval process is different from that in the U.S. practice, such approval step is essential to every international corporation doing business in China. This article explains where Apple may have overlooked this step in the overall trademark registration process in China and how other corporations should avoid the same. The article further examines the basis behind such process and explains that the underlying reasoning is not too difficult for non-Chinese jurisdiction to understand and appreciate. This “approval” process under the Chinese trademark implementing regulations is critical and vital to eliminating unnecessary legal disputes as well as securing long-term success in protection of trademark rights in China.
Arthur Tan-Chi Yuan, Exploring Apple’s iPad Trademark Blunder: Chinese Trademark Approval Procedure Is a Trademark Protection Safeguard or Another National Protectionism?, 11 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 777 (2012)