Chinese Trademark Theft on the Rise After a Five-Year Low

This week’s top stories include why Chinese trademark theft is on the rise after a five-year low. Ongoing quality control issues facing Japanese automakers and how US companies are weighing in on plans to tax Chinese imports. Remember to click the link below for the full stories and two other featured articles. First up, calls to trademark lawyers at Harris Bricken law firm are on the rise. Theft reports at the firm dropped drastically in 2014 after the Chinese government instituted new rules but have been rising again over the last two years. So, what’s the blame for the uptick in calls? After four years, it appears Chinese factories are beginning to outsmart the laws. Combined with a growing desperation to close profit margins the perfect breeding ground for trademark theft has sprung. The U.S. recently found China at fault for 50 billion in US intellectual property theft but changing laws may mean more protection. Last year the Chinese government began a nationwide campaign focused on foreign trade mark protection. Recent wins for companies New Balance and Dior pursuing trademark infringement cases in China demonstrate a positive move towards prosecuting trademark theft. The best scenario involves no trademark theft at all. A little extra work in the beginning of a supplier relationship to review suppliers through audits and credit checks could prevent you from dealing with a difficult legal battle down the road. Next up, in the latest saga of Japanese automotive quality control issues Suzuki Mazda and Yamaha have failed to properly measure exhaust emissions and fuel efficiency. Inappropriate measurements were reported on almost half of the vehicles Suzuki tested over the last six years. Aside from the obvious financial burden the companies will be working hard to restore trust in their products. Many of the issues the Japanese automakers face are common, easily preventable quality control issues but they’re also reflective of endemic issues affecting manufacturing at large. Four major issues revealed in the recent reports included inadequate inspection equipment, no management position in charge of inspections, no standardized manual for inspection measurements and a hesitation to conduct re-inspections. An in-depth, on-site analysis by quality control professionals could have pointed out each of these flaws before they led to financial losses and public scandal. Last up the U.S. companies are voicing their concerns over the proposed final tariff list on Chinese goods. A three-day government hearing this week was doubled in length to accommodate nearly 400 U.S .companies that showed up to have their voices heard. The Trump administration has proposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on a variety of items the tariffs would impact an additional 200 billion of Chinese goods increasing the manufacturing cost of many American products. A growing dependency on a global supply chain has shifted the bulk of manufacturing and production outside of the United States. While some importers look to other countries in Asia for cheaper sourcing alternatives China continues to take a leading role in the global supply chain. Thanks for watching and tune in next week on Best in Manufacturing!

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