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China to curtail trademark trolls

China says it will make a greater effort to stamp out companies such as Proview, which sued Apple earlier this year for the use of the iPad name.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
Apple had to pay Chinese company Proview $60 million for the use of the iPad name. Apple

China said it would change its laws to crack down on "malicious" trademark registrations, which have allowed local companies to misuse well-known names and brands.

The changes come after international companies and well-known individuals have complained to China, according to Reuters, citing state media today.

Perhaps most famous is the case in which a Chinese company sued Apple for the use of the name "iPad," a dispute Apple ultimately settled for $60 million.

Other instances include Michael Jordan, who sued a Chinese sportswear company for using his name, and French luxury brand Hermes International, which has also lodged trademark complaints.

The proposed amendment would give more power to trademark holders, allowing them to ban the unauthorized use of their logos and names, or ones that are similar. Reuters said the country legislature will discuss the amendment this week.

The proposed changes to the law represent China's attempt to legitimize itself on the world's stage, as well as make itself more welcoming to international businesses. The country has long been dogged by complaints that it is a hotbed of piracy and trademark infringement.