Looking at BREXIT in a historical context

The view from a former EU official

See here the text of an informal luncheon address by my friend Michael Graham, former EU official currently living in Beijing, looking at BREXIT in a historical context.
It was addressed in Beijing at a Chinese-American group on 6 March 2017.

The title:
BREXIT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
PERCEPTIONS AND OUTLOOK IN THE UK AND IN EUROPE
Download here: 170306 Brexitspeechrev3

EU and Brexit

The well researched document gives a unique insight and provides historical data on how the EU was set up and evolved over the years, how the complex interactions between the UK and the rest of the EU changed, how it led to Brexit, and how it could affect the Brexit negotiations. It also explains the underlying causes that lead to the Brexit vote.

No Dunkirk Spirit Can Save Britain From Brexit Defeat
The following article from the New York Times gives a rather sober/somber outlook on what Brexit could mean for the UK: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/28/opinion/dunkirk-christopher-nolan-brexit.html

See here two quotes:

A senior ex-diplomat, a man who has spent a professional lifetime building up Britain’s trade and its credibility with investors, is aghast at what the Brexit chaos is doing to our reputation. “The core narrative of the country for the past 40 years has been that we’re stable and politically predictable; the ideal platform for investing into the single market,” he told me. “And now we’re rudderless and in a mess.”

Britain is not an economic powerhouse waiting to be liberated. We are a country of mediocre education and limited skills, whose preening vanity has prevented us from seeing our failings. Our membership in the European Union is not a set of restraints; it is what has been propping us up. If we insist on cutting ourselves off, parts of our economy will start to die.

Does not sound encouraging…

Speaking to Dutch, US and UK MBA

Wagner Executive MBA Sport Management (The Netherlands)

Speaking to Dutch, US and UK MBA this year, see here first our Dutch group. The MBA group visits China about twice a year.
Twelve participants from the Wagner Executive MBA Sport Management – sports managers, led by Prof. drs. Philip Wagner.
As usual, seminar done in Duge Boutique Hotel, on Friday 17 March 2017, duration of about two hours including Q&A.
Theme: A(nother) view on China – Sport in China – China’s challenges

Westfield University

Westfield University (Massachusetts, USA). Group of 15 undergraduate students (International Business) with two professors.
Duration: well over 2 hours with a lively Q&A.
Organized by The China Guide, in the VIP room of Legend Beer (Gongti Xi Lu) on 1 June 2017.
Theme: A(nother) view on China – China’s challenges

Cass Business School (London)

Cass is a regular, usually visiting in summer. On Friday 14 July I talked to a group of about fifty EMBAs, in the Regent Beijing Hotel (Jinbao Street). Duration: about two hours including Q&A.
Organized by Legacy Ventures London, see www.legacy-ventures.com. We work together since many years.
Group led by Dr. Alessandro Giudici, Lecturer in Management, Cass Business School.
Theme: A(nother) view on China – China’s challenges

Along the usual introduction on China, also this:
How is policy formed in China? How are government policies created and which stakeholders are more likely to be involved in its creation? To which stakeholders is the government more likely to be “sensitive”? The underlying big questions: how predictable are Chinese policies and Chinese policy shifts? What direction are they likely to take?
I was lucky that day for two reasons: I managed to go and return without the forecast of thunderstorms. And being so early I had the time to solve an unexpected problem: I did not have a connector for HDMI… The hotel did solve it!

In China anything can be copied

IPR anybody?

As reported earlier, IPR is a major problem as In China anything can be copied.
Some copies can be hilarious but some other copies are rather bad for your health.

Some examples

Fake rice, yes that exists as well as fake eggs. There was a hoopla in Nigeria about imports (from China, what else?) said to be fake rice. Then the authorities got fuzzy and confused about it. Maybe they ate the rice?
Geely tried to copy Rolls Royce. Nice try.
Pollution masks had a really familiar logo. Maybe with a smell of beer? Healthy Heineken!
Cosmetics can be pretty tricky, there are so many fakes on the market. Mostly they show their true face by the spelling mistakes. Lancôme suddenly becomes Lancômes. Problem is, 99% of the Chinese hardly can read any English and are easily fooled. Pretty dangerous to use those products as one has no idea what’s inside.

Donald Trump battles China IPR

The IPR area in China is a minefield

(second part on this issue)
If Donald Trump battles China IPR, he is not alone.

As quoted from NYT:
Mr. Trump has fought at least once to get his name back. In 2015, he lost a legal battle against a businessman in the northern province of Liaoning, Dong Wei, to prevent him from using the Trump name for a construction company, according to a website run by China’s Supreme Court. Then the decision was reversed. A notice issued on China’s trademark office website on Sunday said that Mr. Trump’s trademark had been granted preliminary approval for use in construction services. The Wall Street Journal reported the decision on Monday.
The situation highlights the difficulties that big brands and celebrities face as they navigate the country’s relatively new trademark laws.
In China, trademarks are generally awarded to those who are first to file with the government. That has given rise to a crush of people registering the names of well-known brands, in a practice known as “trademark squatting.”
Many Western companies like Apple and Starbucks have been caught up in long legal battles to win the right to use their names in China.
In May, a Chinese company won the right to sell its leather goods under the iPhone trademark after years of legal wrangling with Apple. Michael Jordan lost the rights to the name he is known by in China. New Balance paid $16 million in damages for what a court said was the illegal use of the Chinese name for the company, which a person had trademarked.

Donald Trump lost

Earlier, the South China Morning Post and CNBC commented on Trump’s fight to protect his Trademark, see:
“The day Donald Trump took on the Chinese government — and lost” – 14 Nov 2016
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/14/the-day-donald-trump-took-on-the-chinese-government–and-lost.html

No matter what course U.S. president-elect Donald Trump takes with China, he starts out with at least one loss in his tangles with Beijing authorities.
Despite waging a long court battle, Trump failed to trademark his own name in the construction industry on the mainland.
Yet it seems Trump’s surprise election win has begun to make a difference with the country’s trademark officials.
His application for a similar trademark in the same categories as before — with the only difference being the capitalized name, “TRUMP,” was filed on March 20, 2014, and provisionally approved on Sunday, four days after his win, according to the government-run trademark search system.

China’s IPR a real “Far West” (in the East)

Many foreign companies have seen their trademark stolen by trademark squatters. The Chinese government mostly let them do, blaming the foreign companies by not filing on time.
There are so many cases of this type and some foreign companies had to spit up millions of USD to … buy back their own trademark.
As I said before, some clever foreign lawyers should do the same in EU and USA and squatter on Chinese brand names before the Chinese have the idea to act. It already happened, but not enough. Then of course China was “angry”. Duh.

A typical case: Calissons d’Aix

See: French confectioners battle Chinese firm over Calissons d’Aix
16 November 2016
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38005875

calissonsdaixbbc

Excerpts
Angry French confectioners are preparing for battle over a sweet from Provence, after a Chinese company trademarked its name.
Calissons d’Aix are eye-shaped marzipan treats flavored with melon, and firmly associated with France.
But Shanghai-based firm Ye Chunlin snapped up the rights under the noses of the Gallic manufacturers.
Now the French Union des Fabricants des Calissons (Union of Calisson makers) in Aix is fighting to block the decision.
Calissons have had protected status in France since 1991, so any brand making them there has to follow set methods.

Chinese copying Chinese

Chinese copy anything, also Chinese famous brands
Just a week ago a Dutch friend saw these bicycles. Their logo reads JIANT. Oops. Doesn’t that sound like GIANT, one of the most famous bike brands here?

China still needs to act to clean up this IPR mess. Donald Trump had also a taste of it but might be lucky as – President.
Others are not so lucky.

Trump toilets in China

Trump toilets are popular

(First of two articles on this issue)
Lots about this in Chinese and international media. What is the connection between Trump toilets in China and IPR? More than one could think.
First, the toilet story.

See:
https://www.yomyomf.com/hey-donald-trump-chinese-company-trump-toilets-are-ready-to-battle-for-your-name/
Hey Donald Trump, Chinese Company “Trump Toilets” Is Ready To Battle For Your Name
By Erin Chew – 17 November 2016
I quote in part:
Ever felt constipated or wanting to relieve yourself after listening to the moronic dribble coming from President Elect Donald Trump and some of his supporters? Well, Chinese company “Trump Toilets” will sell you a luxury toilet equipped with the high tech stuff you see in luxury toilets – you know the seat warmers, sensors etc.

161117-trump_toilets2

They registered the name and trademarked it in 2002, and have stated if Trump tries to take them to the courts they are ready to fight. And if you are online checking out how to purchase a “Trump Toilet”, it will set you back around $880 per unit. They are doing pretty well in China, having captured 85% of the Chinese market share and boasts that over a billion people relieve themselves of “Trump” every year. (not sure about that however!!!)

And also:
In China, Toilets Have Trump’s Name Without His Permission
By SUI-LEE WEE – 15 November 2016
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/business/china-trump-trademark-toilet.html

The founder of a Chinese brand of high-tech toilets called Trump said he had no intention of soiling the name of America’s next president.
Zhong Jiye, the founder, said he had not heard of Donald J. Trump when he registered the English name of his company, Shenzhen Trump Industrial Company Limited, as a trademark in 2002. In Chinese, the company name means “innovate universally,” he said, highlighting how the toilet seats warm and wash the user’s backside. That Chinese name, he explained, also sounds a little like “trump.”

Trump is very present in China

Since quite some time, Donald Trump has tried to register his name as a trademark but had failed – till now. He did register quite a number of trademarks, see here details:
Of the 46 registered trademarks under the Trump name in China, 29 appear to be owned by Mr. Trump, based on data with the country’s trademark office. At least 14 companies not associated with Mr. Trump applied for the Trump trademark in 2015 and 2016 alone, according to Itaotm, a Chinese commercial trademark website.

trumpchinaipr

23 Nov 2016 – Trump trademarks grow, not all from US president-elect
By Zhang Zhao – China Daily
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2016-11/23/content_27462362.htm

I quote:
US President-elect Donald Trump, as a famous entrepreneur, has filed more than 80 trademarks in China using his name over the past decade, most of which have been granted.
According to a report on Beijing Youth Daily, Trump filed his first five trademarks in 2005. In 2015 alone, when he announced he would take part in the presidential election, he filed more than 40 trademark applications in China.
The applied trademarks cover a wide range of businesses, such as real estate, financial services, insurance and education.
Trump trademarks grow, not all from US president-elect
Besides his name Trump and Donald Trump, as well as their Chinese translations, the trademarks also include Trump Estates, Trump Plaza and Trump International Hotel& Tower.
However, Trump is not the only one in China applying trademarks with the word Trump.
In December 2006, Trump filed an application at the national trademark office for a Trump trademark in the category of house interior decoration and repair services. The application was rejected because a Chinese man named Dong Wei had applied the same trademark in the same category just two weeks earlier.
“However, as Trump has now become the next US president, it is likely that the Chinese trademark office will reject any Trump trademark applications from other people in the future,” it was said.

[TO BE CONTINUED]