This article is from WeChat official account:Operation Research Society, author: glowing, title figure from: vision China span> p>
Recently, I used Douyin and I got an internet celebrity who claimed to be the “first person in China’s trademark”, claiming that he was “a country rich in intellectual property rights”.
How did he become “rich as an enemy country”?
According to this boss’s dictation, he holds 4000+ trademarks, which does not include the number in registration.
Oh? Is the trademark so valuable?
Recalling that “Are you hungry” recently sued “Are you hungry” and “Tea Yan Yue Se” sued “Tea Yan Guan Se”, I quickly checked and found that the amount of these trademark disputes was at least one million.
It turns out that the industry of “trademark registration” has long become a “golden treasure” for gray producers
How did trademarks become “expensive”?
Sure enough, after digging deeply, I found that “trademark becomes expensive” is not easy.
Generally speaking, there are two ways to register a trademark. One is individual registration, you need to go to the window to handle it yourself, and the Trademark Office charges a uniform fee of 300 yuan; the other is to entrust registration to an agency, and the asking price ranges from several hundred to several thousand.
The difference in prices is mainly because the “process” wife is too cumbersome.
(Image source: official website)
After all, the flow chart of the nine bends and eighteen bends is so big just to look at it, let alone the actual operation. Moreover, every successfully registered trademark has a high probability of going through the process of rejection and review.
The emergence of agencies assumes the role of “data sorting + running errands”.
Although it is said that not all agencies are cheating money, some of these unscrupulous agencies not only have a lot of harassment operations, but they are also ruthless to cheat money.
1. Agent registration that dare to say “wrapped”
Because of the low entry barriers, the level of agencies is usually uneven. Randomly search on a certain treasure of omnipotence, and almost every agency has to chant the slogan “Package”.
Some organizations think that “oversourcing” is not domineering enough, and they have moved out more powerful gimmicks.
Former employee of the Trademark Office, contracted;
Actor XXX platform, but send “R label”
More businesses, under the guise of the gimmick of expedited processing, privately added buyer WeChat extra charges, but the actual effect has not been improved due to the high charges.
At this time, the customer service is another set of rhetoric: only to help check the approximate pass rate…
2. Use the review period to make money to run away
To complete the registration of a trademark, in addition to being able to withstand the cumbersome process, it also has to withstand the test of trademark registration failure rate.
According to statistics, the total number of new applications accepted by my country’s Trademark Office in 2020 is 910w+, and the trademark registration failure rate is 39%.
In addition, the average examination period for trademark registration applications is about 8 months, which means that companies have been waiting for more than half a year, and there is a nearly 40% probability that they may receive a rejection notice.
(Image source: official website)
In order to make money, some informal institutions have turned the waiting period for trademark review into their own “money collecting” period.
(1) Blind promise
For Xiaobai, who registered the trademark for the first time, the agency’s empty promises are like a scam with a sugar coat.
For example, some agencies, when consulting users, first emphasize their high pass rate and short waiting period gimmicks, but in the end, they can’t get around one thing: they must pay money before doing things. Once the user actually paid the money, the merchant would forget the previous promise.
Because according to the trademark registration process, as long as your application materials have been submitted, the Trademark Office will show that it is under review. The audit results will need to wait about 5 months before they come out, so the tricks of the merchants will not be revealed for a while.
In this case, after the user received the rejection notice, he realized that he had been deceived, which was the best result.
To make matters worse, some users will continue to be fooled by the agency, and in the name of submitting for review, they will become “leeks” that are continuously harvested.
(2) Induce registration
Of course, agencies also have cases that help users get the registration certificate smoothly, but they are not in line with the actual demands of usersA hundred thousand miles away.
For example, it is difficult for users to apply for a designated category of trademarks to pass the examination, and the agency will “induce” them to register the trademarks in unrelated or partial areas such as financial property management.
(“Glory of the King” is registered as a trademark of “Wine”)
As a result, although the pass rate has increased, the areas where trademarks are applied are completely different.
When the user finally finds that the trademark he has struggled to register is completely useless, he can only find another way to re-register, and the broken teeth are swallowed in his stomach, and he is forced to spend money to buy lessons.
(3) “Fairy Jump”
What’s more, after the merchant has consulted the relevant trademark, the agency applied for the trademark that the user wanted to register in advance through another subsidiary.
Then tell the merchant “You were preemptively registered by someone else, but I can contact you for purchase”. At this time, many businesses have no choice but to compromise and pay a high price to buy their original trademarks.
This set of operations can be called the “fairy jump” in the trademark industry.
Faced with this kind of “fairy jump” in the trademark industry, users will inevitably be selled and misused regardless of whether they choose an agency to register, and get back their original trademarks.
3. Squatting routines are hard to guard against
If there is anyone in the world who is more likely to follow hotspots than self-media people, it must be an agency that preempts trademark registration.
Because trademark registration applies the principles of “first to apply” and “first to use”, in simple terms, the earlier an application is filed, the more likely it is to be approved.
This was originally due to the country’s regulations on “protecting the legitimate rights of trademark holders,” but it was exploited by profit-seeking businesses; trademarks that need to fight for “squatting” have naturally become agencies’ profit Sweet pastry for the difference.
(1) Super fast hand speed
First of all, the social attention of the trademarks targeted by “malicious cybersquatting” is instant.
Sometimes ago, Ding Zhen, a young man in Litang, was all over the Internet. A number of individuals and companies that had nothing to do with him submitted a full 270 applications for the registration of the “Ding Zhen” trademark.
(Picture source, enterprise search)
It was even revealed that some people couldn’t wait to ask for the price before they got the trademark certificate of “Ding Zhen”.
The price is 188,000 within 24 hours. If there is an explosion news again, the price will not be sold.
(Source: The Paper)
Similarly, popular words such as “Huoshenshan”, “Li Wenliang” and “Zhong Nanshan” and celebrity trademarks have all been registered maliciously.
If it is a media person who has not done a good job in trademark protection,Fan will not only lead to the removal of all personal content, but also face the sky-high price fraud of “squatting” traffickers.
(B station up host “Jing Hanqing” who was scammed by trademark fraud)
(2) Specialized division of labor
Why do agencies always “squat register” new trademarks? Because they have a “specialization of labor”.
On the one hand, they will specialize in major industry groups and monitor hot words in 360 degrees without dead ends. As soon as the social news came out, the media articles had not been published yet, and the application for trademark registration was ready to move.
On the other hand, in order to successfully obtain the squatting trademark, these agencies will also use various variations in the application process, such as adding hot word elements, adjusting the order, or registering as a partial category, or even converting Register as a picture…
Of course, all the above operations are to increase the registration pass rate and avoid the supervision of the Trademark Office.
Like the “Ding Zhen” trademark mentioned above, many of them are such tricks. Even if the word trademark is rejected, a number of graphic trademarks and partial category trademarks are still under application.
(Picture source, enterprise search)
It is precisely this kind of “high efficiency” that the “Ding Zhen” trademark will be registered 270 in just 4 months. On average, it will have to register nearly 70 every month!
How profitable is trademark trading?
Why does trademark registration allow individuals and agencies to enter the bureau like crazy?
In the final analysis, it is because this business is very profitable.
1. Confusing and defrauding “join” fees
The most intuitive advantage of counterfeiting big-name brands in the catering industry for bad business opportunities is that it can confuse the audience, use the guise of “joining big-name brands”, and use information to cut leeks.
Take “Tea Yan Yue Se” as an example. As this brand gets more and more popular, many people want to follow the trend and join the family. However, because Cha Yan Yue Se does not open the form of joining, many people have no way to “invest”.
At this time, the unscrupulous merchant who was eyeing this piece of fatty meat preemptively started the show operation-registering a trademark similar to “茶颜悦色”.
Tea Yan Says Color
After getting the copycat trademark, unscrupulous merchants began to overwhelmingly promote their false franchise and agency information. Franchised buyers with information gaps faced a large amount of information on their browsers, and their chances of being deceived increased sharply.
It is worth mentioning that users who originally joined the original brand will not only have to pay for the stolen trademark, but also face the risk of being sued by the original brand.
Many victims joined a fake brand trademark.Laizhen asked to close the store after defending its rights, and the franchise fee was smashed by hundreds of thousands. Since the contract did not specify the liability for breach of contract, I didn’t know how to defend the rights. In the end, this matter had to be left alone.
In addition to the beauty of tea, all kinds of hot brands, including Heycha and Nayuki’s tea, have become the pretense for unscrupulous merchants to join.
I searched for an agent who claimed to be “Joining Hey Tea”. Just after chatting with the customer service, I found something was wrong: Why did “Hey Tea” become “Drinking Dora Tea”?
Furthermore, the customer service will start asking you how to contact you. Under the guise of a name that is not understandable, the so-called project manager will introduce you to the joining process.
(Image source network)
2. Earn at least 10 times the “Pengci” trademark
In addition to earning franchise fees, the resale of counterfeit trademarks is also profitable.
According to an average cost of 500, a registered trademark is worth 10 times when it is sold by a bad business, and it claims to be a “special offer.”
“Six Walnuts” turned into “Six Brain Walnuts” and “Six Complement Walnuts”
“Nestlé” transformed into “Nestle””Bird Pure”
“Red Bull” turned into “Prize Bull” and “Shanghai Bull”
(Picture source: WeChat tweet of a forum)
When I pretended to be a buyer and asked about the price of the trademark, I was told that: 2 10W, the price increase was so high that it could be called “swift”.
Just the 60+ trademarks in this trademark resale advertisement are enough for businesses to earn 300W. One can imagine how profitable this business is…
3. “Selling price” to big names
In this gray industry, as long as you can catch the right word, you can successfully corrupt the profits hundreds to thousands of times, and you can just turn over.
Some trademark dealers “touched porcelain” in disputes with some well-known companies, and they almost ended up buying trademarks at sky-high prices.
Even Apple, as the world’s leading technology company, has been competing for the iPad trademark, and finally paid 380 million yuan in tuition fees.
In 2000, when Apple did not launch an iPad tablet computer, a company registered the iPad trademark in multiple countries and regions.
When the iPad product was about to hit the shelves, Apple discovered the fatal loophole, and finally paid $60 million (about 380 million RMB)Bought it back from this company.
As trademark disputes are increasing, big brands have also built their own “trademark defense moat.”
Lao Ganma’s registered “Niu Ganma, Lao Aunt, Lao Yanma” series, and Haidilao’s “Hedi Fishing, Pond Fishing, Pot Bottom Fishing” series, are all brands “copy yourself, let others “No copycat” defense operation.
(Source: Red Meal)
But for many small businesses, trademark scams are not only unpredictable, they are also enough to get them back from the state of rapid development.
The shady profiteering of a trademark from registration to transaction also makes people think: if the illegal business is only fined a small fine for it after making a lot of money, then this How can the root cause of the increasingly fierce malicious competition be solved?