Dan Harris in MarketPlace

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Even if an American brand does not plan to sell in China, the firm should still guard its trademark.

“We were contacted by four European companies that controlled, maybe, around 80 percent of a particular product market,” said lawyer Dan Harris, who advises companies that do business in China. The firms all produced in China but didn’t file for Chinese trademarks. One of their Chinese manufacturers went out and registered all four European brands.

“Once [the Chinese manufacturer] got their China trademark, they told these four companies: you cannot ship product from China anymore. It was a disaster for these four companies,” Harris said.