China trademark law firmA small U.S. manufacturing company based out of the Midwest sent one of my firm’s China IP lawyers a copy of an interesting letter the company received from China today. They asked us to take out their name but discuss it on our blog. The letter is as follows:

I am a Chinese. From the company introduction that the Internet sees you, I know that you value the business in China very much.

In the information society of now, if you want to open the market of China, I suggest you should do one Internet station of the inside text. For the purpose of the large customer of China can carry on the understanding to you, because is already in the Chinese Internet very widespread, at work or living middlemans all use the Internet habitually, if your Chinese customer wants to buy your product, so they will pass the Internet to carry on the understanding to your product first.But, I see the introductive Internet of concerning your product only have English of, this develops to you the business is very not good, because total still have one part of persons is not to acquaint with very much to English, perhaps can’t masterly of usage.

Now, I have already registered following few areases: the ,  So I suggest: If you really want to open the market of China, invite you the top of two areas purchase to return.If you do not purchase, I sell to these two areas for the meeting other company.

What the English letter of the top use is an automatic translation of related software, may have some places are not very good.If you want the letter in reply, had better seek an inside text to translate, because my English is not very good.

This letter is letting this U.S. company know that the letter writer registered two variations of this company’s name as Chinese domains and is offering to sell those domains “back” to the company under threat of selling it to someone else. This U.S. company has yet to do any real business in China, beyond sending someone there for exploratory meetings, yet someone learned of their nascent China intentions and is trying to hold them up for their domain name.

There is a cheap and easy way to avoid this problem:  register your China (cn) domain name before you go to China for the first time. Of course, many of you will be satisfied with continuing to use only your existing domain names — nobody is saying a .cn domain name is essential, but if you are doing business in China or even just planning to do business in or with China, it probably will make sense for you to do so.

This domain name issue is actually rather trivial in comparison to what can happen in the trademark arena. In a subsequent post, I will discuss the critical need to protect your brand names (and maybe your company name and your logos as well) by registering trademarks in China before you set foot in China.