Thu, Aug 21, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Kinmen official urges better trademark protection


Kinmen Magistrate Lee Chu-feng (李炷烽) yesterday asked the government to address the problem of rogue Taiwanese businessmen trying to register names similar to popular Taiwanese products in China.

Lee made the remarks after Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor, one of the most popular Kinmen product, passed the initial review of China's Trademark Bureau of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

The liquor is expected to be launched in China by the end of the year, Lee said at a press conference in Kinmen yesterday.

Chinese authorities gave initial approval to Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor, produced by the company of the same name, for registration on Aug. 7.

If no one comes forward to contest the name in the next three months, the liquor could become the first Taiwanese tobacco and wine product to be registered in China that has the name of a place in Taiwan on it, Lee said.

Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc (金門酒廠) has been trying to register its product with Chinese authorities since July 7, 1999, but was rejected three times.

One of the reasons given for the rejection was that Chinese law prohibits the use of the name of county-level administrative regions as a trademark.

Fortunately, Lee said, Chinese authorities have finally concluded that Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor has "already been used for some time " and that it is a brand name with "a certain influence."

Lee said that Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor's registration in China was also delayed because some Tai-wanese had maliciously registered similar names, such as "Kinmen King" and "Kinmen" liquors which are not even produced in Kinmen.

Lee said that "Kinmen King" trademark was revoked, but some rogue Taiwanese businessmen are still trying to block the registration of Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor, with even Taiwan Beer possibly falling victim to such malicious intentions.

Lee said that since relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are unique, and authorities in charge with trademark matters in China have not been able to effectively protect intellectual property rights and other information through exchanges, rogue Tai-wanese businesspeople have the chance to reap profits from registering a similar trademark.

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