Starbucks vs Xingbake: IPR Protection in China
According to China Daily ,
Xing, pronounced "shing" means star in Chinese, and bake, or "bah kuh" sounds like bucks Thus the name, logo, graphic elements and meaning are all subject to copyright infringement.“One of the shops of the local company in the city's downtown Nanjing Road has a design similar to that of Starbucks: a round logo with green characters against white background Chinese characters reading "Xing Ba Ke" on the top and Cafe at the bottom."
This is how it all happened and the relevant timelines --
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In an article in CNN called “Chinese court slides with Starbucks”, the concern of the foreign companies had been highlighted.
“Foreign companies have complained for years that the Chinese government is failing to stamp out piracy of copyrighted or trademarked goods such as movies or designer clothes.”
According to the study conducted by Mckinsey, most of the Chinese companies take the legal route to handle IP protection. They would need to take more of a proactive than a reactive approach and strategize accordingly. They should incorporate and institutionalize the IP rights, both internal as well as external to the organization.
“The best companies reduce the chance that competitors will steal their IP, by carefully selecting which products and technologies to sell and manufacture in China."
*The Seattle-based Starbucks Corporation set up the first coffee house in Seattle in 1971. Starbucks Corporation is now the world's largest coffee retailer with more than 6,500 coffee houses worldwide, out of which. 300 outlets are operating in Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong.