OEM Revised-Is It Trade Mark Use In China?
31 October 2011
Many foreign companies produce goods in China through Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). In most cases it means that the Chinese OEM is licensed to produce certain (branded) products on behalf of the foreign company. In most OEM relationships, the foreign company authorizes the China OEM to manufacture its goods under a particular trade mark. This trade mark may or may not be registered in China.
In some cases, marks that are not registered by the foreign company are hijacked by the OEM or other third parties. In practice this means that the Chinese company registers the foreign company's trade mark in China before the foreign company does, and thus becomes the de facto rights holder in China. In other cases, an OEM may attach a trade mark on the goods, which infringes on the rights of a foreign trade mark owner in China.