China enraged by trademark

China is reported to be incensed at an attempt by a Gibraltar-based company to register “Not made in China” as a Europe-wide trademark.

The application, by Alvito, is being processed by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs), which will be inviting interested parties to register objections.

The Chinese government is likely to object. Dong Baolin, former vice-president of the trademark office of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce and China’s chief representative at the GATT negotiations on intellectual property, is reported to have said such a mark would disgrace China’s prestige and dignity.

It is unclear whether the mark can be registered in Europe, as it may be interpreted as purely descriptive.

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