There has been ongoing uncertainty over whether brand owners who manufacture branded goods in China, but do not sell those products in China, could infringe a Chinese trade mark registration held by a third party in that country.

A recent Supreme People’s Court (SPC) decision clarifies that applying a trade mark to goods in China for the purpose of export only does not constitute trade mark ‘use’ in China because the trade mark does not function as a badge of origin to Chinese consumers. This is good news for foreign brand owners using China as a manufacturing base, as they no longer need to be concerned that this manufacturing use can infringe a local trade mark registration.

In this update we outline the implications for Australian companies, and other foreign brand owners, using China as a manufacturing base.

Read the full Legal Update here.