One of the packed meetings at the United States-China Adjudication Conference was the trademark breakout session, conducted for the most part in Chinese, with simultaneous translations. Several high-ranking judges in the IPR Tribunal spoke on trademark developments. From a U.S. perspective, there is a keen interest in the protection of well known trademarks either registered or unregistered in China.
As the speaker explained, the scope of protection is limited in China and emphasis is placed on fame in China, past enforcement of the marks in China, and potential damage to the public. It was recommended to rights holders that they gather information and evidence and vigorously enforce rights. One of the judges argued that the need to show fame to the Chinese general public may be an impediment to enforcing trademark rights. There is a movement to change this to make it consistent with the original intent of the law. It will be interesting to see how this evolves.