Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

It is not a matter of respect. U.S. trademark law applies in the U.S. and Chinese trademark law applies in China. The laws are just different.

The U.S. does more to protect a user of a mark who neglects to register. For example, there is a "Burger King" restaurant that used the mark prior to the well-known international chain. That business continues to use the mark for its restaurant and can even exclude the well-known company from a limited territory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burger_King_(Mattoon,_Illinois...

The Chinese system, by contrast, seems very unforgiving to a prior user who neglects to register.




Part of the reason for this is that the US system uses common law which means that it changes over time based on previous cases.

The Chinese system is based more on the German system where courts have less leeway and follow the laws more than interpret the laws.

The Chinese civil law is more common worldwide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law


It's a bit more complicated than that. For trademark law, U.S. law is a hybrid. Federal law is always codified in a set of statutes, which makes it a bit like a civil law jurisdiction, except that higher court decisions are binding on trial courts. State law is often codified, but sometimes it is based on a common law history of judicial decisions.

The particular complexity for U.S. trademark law arises because the federal law did not completely preempt state laws. Federal law applies generally to marks registered with the federal government through the trademark office, but there can also be rights based on state law.


the detail is in 'neglects to register'. good explanation.

the issue with these kinds of cases, is that this is internet bound, and taking it down in for example chinese websites only, wouldn't make it unavailable in china. thus such internet marketed goods are harder to be forgiving in, as it's always available everywhere or nowhere. you can't as per your burger king example, exclude such a product from a certain territory or geographic location.

it's shitty, but in the end if you are running a business internationally which is prone to such copycats, register your trademark and protect yourself. if you forget you can be certain at some point, if you are successful, someone will try to copy it.




Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: