With the rise in economic prosperity in China, many brand owners are keen to expand into this market. Rights in a trade mark in China are acquired solely through registration so it is essential for brand owners to be the "first to file" their mark in China. Prior use by the legitimate brand owner, by itself, will not provide a basis for taking action against third party use or registration of a mark.
Chivas Brothers, the makers of Chivas Regal whisky came up against this problem when they were unable to prove that the CHIVAS REGAL mark was sufficiently well-known in China to stop the use and registration of the mark by a third party for goods in a different class from that registered by the brand owner.
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