John Marshall Law School Student Publishes First Book on New Chinese Trademark Law

When a business takes its global production and marketing to China, it needs to protect its reputation and brand name. Paul Kossof, a third-year student at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, has set out to help businesses by writing the first book on China’s new trademark law which takes effect on May 1.

Kossof’s book, “Chinese Trademark Law: The New Chinese Trademark Law of 2014,” offers readers concise explanations and accompanying analysis for every amendment in China’s Third Revision of Trademark Law. Kossof also offers predictions on how the amendments will affect China’s trademark legal practice.

“The United States protected trademarks even before it became an independent nation. In comparison, China implemented its first trademark law in 1982,” said Kossof who, since graduating from Villanova University in 2011, has spent the equivalent of two years working in Beijing and Shanghai. The book from Kossof – who is fluent in Mandarin — analyzes each amendment, and includes amendment citations and versions of related laws and regulations in both English and Mandarin..

Kossof’s experience has given him perspective on how the new law will improve how companies conduct business in China. For example, Kossof says the new law will streamline the process for registering a trademark; increase six-fold the amount of statutory damages and allow punitive damages for trademark infringement; recognize sounds as trademarks; and prohibit holders of Chinese well-known trademarks from dominating the consumer market through unfair advertising.

Kossof thinks these are all good changes, but he knows there are multiple cultural differences in how Chinese and western governments operate. To ease the transition, his book provides insights on how to interact with the Chinese Trademark Office and Trademark Review and Adjudication Board. He also includes sample “cease and desist” letters, tips for negotiating with trademark squatters and the world’s first published English translation of the new law.

Kossof hadn’t intended to write a book, but John Marshall Professor Mark Wojcik encouraged him after reading Kossof’s numerous papers on the topic. One such article, “The New Chinese Trademark Law,” won Kossof the International Trademark Association’s 2014 Ladas Memorial Award, which honors excellence in trademark publications.

His next project, to be published in July, is “Chinese Legal Research,” a book that gives researchers the background, tools and tips needed to conduct effective Chinese legal research, even without basic knowledge of Mandarin. Kossof said it has been customary to hire a researcher or law firm in China to handle research, but this latest book details steps to make the process easy enough for foreign legal researchers.

Kossof will receive a J.D. degree with a certificate in Intellectual Property Law in May, and is expected to complete an LL.M. degree in International Business and Trade Law in January 2015. He is considering a range of job possibilities, and he is certain his future legal work will be in China.

To speak with Kossof or learn more about his book, please contact John Marshall Public Affairs Director Christine Kraly.

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