Rare New Balance Trademark Win
in China Drives a Need for High-Quality
Chinese Legal Translation Services

Demand for English to Chinese Certified Translation Services Is on the Rise

We’ve blogged about legal translation services for patent litigation and the on-going need for certified English to Mandarin Chinese translation services. China may be moving in a good direction these days when it comes to protecting trademarks and other forms of intellectual property. Historically, companies with well-known international brands have been at war with low-quality manufacturers in China that create cheap copies of all types of products.

These low-quality manufacturers make everything from iPhones to Louis Vuitton bags, and merely make a small change to the brand name. The counterfeit products enjoy immediate good will and product recognition because they look like the original but also enjoy a large consumer base because they are cheaper than the original. Moreover, Chinese courts were either loathe to enforce trademark laws to protect brands, or were largely ignored by the perpetrators.

However, a recent ruling by a Chinese court involving New Balance sneakers may mark a change in that trend. The case may, in fact, signify an effort by Chinese courts to increase protection for intellectual property rights for international brands. That may, in turn, mean additional cases against Chinese counterfeit manufacturers, and the need for quality legal translation services that provide Chinese to English translation services.

New Balance’s Rare Legal Victory in China

The sideways “N” on New Balance sneakers has been copied by a number of Chinese companies using “parasite brands.” These companies call their counterfeit New Balance sneakers New Boom, New Barlun, or New Bunren. New Balance specifically took New Boom to Chinese court, and in a rare move, the Chinese court issued an injunction, ordering the counterfeit company to stop using the New Balance trademark.

When New Boom failed to honor the injunction, the Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court hit the company with a $250,000 fine. That stiff fine goes to the Chinese state, but when a final judgment is handed down, New Balance could win damages from the company. In addition, another Chinese court recently awarded New Balance $550,000 against New Bunren brand shoes, and New Balance has another lawsuit against New Barlun.

An experienced Chinese intellectual property attorney noted that, in 25 years of practice, he could not recall another example when a Chinese court imposed such a substantial fine on a company that breached a preliminary injunction. Accordingly, it appears that the court is sending a message that China may be poised to crack down on companies that make counterfeit brand products.

Trademark lawyers indicate that China may be taking a more hardline approach with regard to protecting intellectual property rights because legitimate Chinese companies are beginning to have valuable intellectual property to protect.

Attorneys see this recent injunction enforcement in the New Balance as a good sign. However, given the extent of the problem of trademark piracy in China, this case is merely a bandage on cancer at this point.

Legal Translation Services for Future Chinese Trademark Cases

Should this New Balance injunction decision in China pave the way for greater enforcement of intellectual property rights against Chinese trademark pirates, then you can expect that litigation against the counterfeit product manufacturers will only increase. That increase means more trademark and intellectual property cases brought in Chinese courts. Given the heavy discovery activity that occurs in any intellectual property litigation, English to Chinese legal translation services will prove invaluable.

Indeed, firms will need the ability to translate their voluminous documents into Chinese, and translate the opposing party’s documents from Chinese to English. That is a task that must be outsourced to a trusted, experienced, high-quality company that specializes in Chinese legal translation services. Consider employing the help of All Language Alliance, Inc. We are experts on English to Chinese translation services and on Mandarin Chinese to English legal translations. We can help ensure that accurate, on-time certified translations are available where and when you need them.

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