Hashish Manufacturers and China: An Rising IP Problem

September 20, 2023by Naomi Cramer

Hashish Manufacturers and China Challenges

Hashish manufacturers account for a sizeable part of my regulation agency’s mental property work (and, certainly, our work usually). Traditionally, there was little overlap between our hashish and China apply areas, past our representing a variety of hashish ancillary product corporations on their China manufacturing issues. That is beginning to change, as we more and more see bad-faith actors in China focusing on hashish manufacturers’ logos. This intersection carries vital implications that hashish enterprise homeowners want to grasp.

This put up highlights the rising IP challenges hashish manufacturers face from China and offers proactive methods for hashish manufacturers to combat again.

China Trademark Squatting

We are able to solely speculate about what’s driving this rising phenomenon. Almost definitely, it’s partly a brand new manifestation of an previous China drawback: trademark squatters. Trademark squatters in China now acknowledge that, very like different manufacturers, hashish manufacturers additionally supply numerous merchandise from the nation. Clearly we’re not speaking about hashish or hashish derivatives, however slightly items similar to vapes, trimmers, merch, packaging, cosmetics, and many others. Squatters usually register logos being utilized by manufacturers like yours within the hope that finally you’ll pay them to amass management over “your” logos. And guess what, squatting usually works, with payout of tens of hundreds of {dollars} frequent, and bigger payouts not extraordinary.

For hashish (and different) manufacturers that supply merchandise from China, a squatter to their logos generally is a large drawback. Chinese language trademark squatters usually use their trademark rights to get Chinese language regulation enforcement to grab your merchandise, halt your manufacturing, or block your exports, all with the final word aim of forcing you to purchase the China trademark of your model from them.

To keep away from such issues, hashish manufacturers with any China publicity ought to vigilantly monitor trademark purposes and oppose any suspicious registrations. Even higher, they need to register their model names as China logos forward of squatters, to make sure they continue to be one step forward on this strategic sport. If a squatter does handle to register your model’s logos, your choices will turn out to be extra restricted, particularly through the first three years following this registration; after three years, there’s a superb likelihood the squatted logos shall be susceptible to a cancellation petition on the premise of non-use.

Furthermore, there’s an added dimension to think about: the real-world counterparts of those bad-faith actors. They may very effectively be producers you’ve beforehand engaged with or have shared delicate info. The threats might additionally emanate from rogue staff inside your producer’s fold and even affiliated producers. In these advanced, high-stakes eventualities, the optimum technique usually entails happening the offensive. Early discovery of such deceit through the trademark software part permits manufacturers to oppose the registration. However as highlighted, post-registration, the out there strategic strikes are far fewer.

Manufacturers not sourcing from China aren’t solely within the clear. Although they face a diminished risk from China trademark squatters, different bad-faith actors are ready within the wings. In sure cases, these actors could register your model’s logos in China with real intent to make use of them. Even for those who don’t manufacture your merchandise in China, there’s most likely a producer  there that may produce your product and nothing stops such producers from collaborating with entities which have unfairly registered your logos.

To mitigate the danger of China-made counterfeits of your merchandise coming into the U.S. (or Auckland or different markets), hashish manufacturers must register their logos of their major gross sales markets. They need to additionally take the extra step of recording their trademark with U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) or the customs authorities within the nation in query, to assist stop the entry of counterfeits.

In fact, the dangers posed by somebody who is definitely utilizing logos obtained in unhealthy religion is way better for hashish manufacturers that are getting merchandise from China. Along with transport counterfeits, bad-faith trademark registrants usually interact in the identical form of hijinks as squatters, similar to petitioning China regulation enforcement to close down your manufacturing. Additionally, remember that the counterfeiter actor is likely to be the producer with whom you’ve got been working, sharing confidential info, or a rogue worker of your producer, or a producer associated to yours.

For hashish manufacturers that discover themselves (or might discover themselves) in such a high-stakes conditions, it’s seemingly that the one wise choice is happening the offensive and mounting a problem to the bad-faith actor. Ideally, you will discover out in regards to the shenanigans through the trademark software course of, when you possibly can oppose registration of the trademark. As mentioned, choices shall be extra restricted after registration.


The merging of hashish manufacturers with China’s IP panorama introduces new challenges. Concurrently, the necessity for hashish manufacturers to guard their mental property has turn out to be more and more vital. Being proactive is essential; understanding potential threats, and arming your self with the suitable instruments and information could make all of the distinction.

Guarantee you’ve got enough protections in place not simply in your house market, however probably in China as effectively. If a squatter or counterfeiter has already secured rights over your model’s logos, be ready to go on the offensive.

Editor’s Be aware: This piece first ran on our agency’s China Regulation Weblog on August 28, 2023.

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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