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trade marks and terminology
What does a Certification Trade Mark (CTM) mean, and what value does it bring to my organization?
The distinctive CHINA READY & ACCREDITED® logo is called a Certification Trade Mark. A Certification Trade Mark (CTM) indicates to Chinese consumers that a product or service using the CTM meets a specified independent quality service standard governed by a strict set of Rules.
Governments around the world recognize that their approval for the use of a Certification Trade Mark (CTM) by an enterprise to promote and market their product and services confers a significant degree of competitive advantage for them.
Because of this, the approval of a Certification Scheme and granting of the associated CTM is strictly controlled by individual national governments around the world. Each national government has to carefully and independently assess and approve the CHINA READY® Rules, together with the capacity and integrity of CHINA READY® to administer the Accreditation Scheme.
A Certification Trade Mark cannot be assigned without approval by the relevant independent national government and a national government may refuse assignment if they have concerns that an organization is not competent to administer the Accreditation Scheme.
The CHINA READY & ACCREDITED® Quality Service Certification Scheme (QSC), and its associated Certification Trade Mark is officially approved by major governments around the world, including the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - together with approval by the country’s relevant consumer protection and fair trading agency.
The CHINA READY® Trade Mark is also approved and protected in the European Union (EU) through the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) under the Madrid Agreement and Protocol.
Examples of some other global Certification Trade Marks you may be familiar with:
- International Fairtrade Certification Trade Mark: used to identify the producers and traders who have met Fairtrade Standards, designed to address the imbalance of power in trading relationships, unstable markets and the injustices of conventional trade.
- Energy Star Certification Trade Mark: used to certify buildings and plant that meet strict energy performance standards set by EPA. They use less energy, are less expensive to operate, and cause fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers.
- CE Certification Trade Mark: indicates that a product complies with safety, health or environmental requirements set by the European Commission.
- ISO Certification Trade Mark: designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product.
- Woolmark Certification Trade Mark: used to identify goods that are 100% wool.
Are the unauthorized use of the words “China-ready” and “China Ready” a breach of your Trade Mark rights?
Yes. The unauthorized use of the words “China-ready “and “China Ready” are a breach of our Trade Mark rights.
CHINA READY® is a brand which refers to our particular training and accreditation scheme, which is governed and protected internationally.
All phrases which contain the word “China” coupled with the word “ready” are used to distinguish our particular Program, along with the support and endorsement it receives in China and across the world. CHINA READY® and its trademarks have developed a substantial and valuable reputation globally as a result of their significant use and global media exposure.
Some individuals and organizations who have tried to illegally use our Trade Marks have argued that the phrase “China ready” is a common or generic term. Our lawyers’ response when instituting legal action against these infringers is that the phrase “China Ready” is not in fact grammatically correct in the English language.
For example no one would ordinarily say “Italy Ready” or “European Union Ready”. The phrase “China-ready “or “China Ready” has come about because of CHINA READY & ACCREDITED® / CHINA READY® Trade Mark use.
As the registered owners, CHINA READY® - and those businesses and organizations we license and sub-license with our brand - are entitled to the exclusive use and exploitation of our Trade Marks. Any use of a substantially identical or deceptively similar Mark in relation to the same or similar goods or services for which the Trade Marks are registered amounts to a trade mark infringement and is legally actionable by us as the Trade Mark owner.
What are the ramifications?
A court of law in most jurisdictions provides that the relief a court may grant from an infringement of a registered trade mark includes an injunction, and damages or an account of profits.
Although there are some slight differences in various global jurisdictions, the following excerpts from Competition and Consumer Law Statutes maintain a common thread:
Misleading and Deceptive Conduct
“A person must not in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive”.
“A person must not, in trade or commerce, in connection with the supply or possible supply of goods or services or in connection with the promotion by any means of the supply or use of goods or services:
*represent that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, performance characteristics, accessories, uses or benefits they do not have;
*represent that the person making the representation has a sponsorship, approval or affiliation it does not have.”
By using or promoting the unauthorized use of the term “China Ready”, a person, business or organization is engaging in conduct that is likely to mislead or deceive consumers and industry representatives into believing a business, organization or individual has the sponsorship, approval of or an affiliation with CHINA READY®, when no such approval, sponsorship or affiliation exists.
Passing off prevents one party from trading on the reputation and goodwill of another party’s name, trade indicia or get up.
This includes, but is not limited to, the unauthorized use of our CHINA READY® Trade Marks on:
- any directories, publications, advertising, marketing or promotional materials,
- any websites and social media platforms; and
- any educational or informative programs or workshops that incorporate our Trade Marks
Any such use amounts to a misrepresentation that an individual, business or organization is associated with, or has been approved by CHINA READY®, when it has not.
Such conduct would entitle CHINA READY® to sue for injunctive relief and damage. As an alternative to damages, we would be entitled to an account of profits in respect of the passing off.
How much work does applying to be a CHINA READY & ACCREDITED® Business involve?
Applying to be CHINA READY & ACCREDITED® is an online process that requires you to provide evidence of compliance against a number of business criteria.
These include, among others, adherence to industry ethical and customer service standards, insurances and complaint handling procedures. This is to ensure that your business is a legal entity that treats all customers fairly, regardless of their origin or race.
At the same time, we require that a number of your staff are trained as CHINA READY Specialists™. This requires them to complete the CHINA READY Specialist Training™, an online course that takes around 6 hours to complete, over a maximum of 6 weeks.
How long does it take to become CHINA READY & ACCREDITED®?
It really depends on how soon you provide all the required information, and how quickly your employee(s) progress through the CHINA READY Specialist Training™. It takes about 8-10 weeks on average.
How do I apply?
We've made it easy for you. Simply, register your interest to become a CHINA READY® accredited business and complete a couple of online questions.
We’ll contact you to help you decide what membership and marketing package your business would benefit from most.
Once you’ve chosen your desired program package and paid your annual membership fee, we’ll email you the application forms detailing the required information about your business and provide access to the online training for your nominated staff members.
How do I work out what sector I’m accredited under in the Hospitality and Tourism Sector? Can I get a tick for each category?
If you operate a business in the tourism and hospitality sector and your business operations cover overlapping areas, you should choose your core business activity. For example:
(1) You are an attraction operator who provides food and beverage, shopping and retail and transport within your business; or
(2) You are a hotel operator who provides food and beverage, shopping and retail, fun and entertainment, transport within your business.
Can I get a tick beside each category?
No. You can only be accredited based on the core activity of your business. If your core business is that of an attraction operator then you will be accredited as an attraction. If your core business is providing hotel accommodation then you will be accredited under the accommodation category. All other activities are ancillary to your core business.
How much does the Program cost?
- If you can prove you already meet with accreditation criteria, you can apply directly for Accreditation. The accreditation fee starts from approximately $650USD.
- However most organizations want marketing and other benefits, so they choose from one of our three ready-made packages, which make the qualification process very straightforward.
- Our three ready-made membership and marketing packages encompass training, translation and business support, as well as marketing options that can be tailored to your needs. The complete package price starts from $3990USD. If marketing is a priority for your organization, we recommend a Standard or Premium package.
China Ready training™
How long does your training take for an individual?
The training takes around six hours, although you have up to six weeks to complete it.
I saw some others running workshops that take less than half a day. Why does yours take longer?
China is a big country with more than 5000 years of history, and some people devote a whole lifetime to the study of its culture and traditions.
Welcoming, serving and satisfying Chinese customers isn’t easily done. It takes insight, understanding and expert training, which is exactly what your staff will receive from the CHINA READY Training™. It is not something you can do in just a couple of hours. There is a lot to absorb, and it is time well invested. It is also highly rewarding.
Our training is concise, very informative and enjoyable for people of all countries and cultures.
In fact, we’re so sure you’ll enjoy CHINA READY Training™ that we’ll let you experience a slice of the first online module with our compliments.
Who delivers your training and do you have campuses internationally?
Kaplan and Laureate are the world’s two leading global education specialists. Kaplan has more than 1 million students in 600 locations globally. Laureate has a network of more than 250 campuses in over 30 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Our training is provided via our education delivery partners - Kaplan and Laureate.
I’ve seen your China Today video, which is brilliant. Can I show it to my staff or use it at work-related conferences, seminars or meetings?
We own the copyright on this video and have progressively added relevant information to keep it up to date.
- You can use it to show your staff / employer a “taste” of the full CHINA READY Specialist Training Program™, provided the information is not sold or used for commercial benefits and its source is acknowledged. Reproduction of text for other purposes and storage or reproduction of any photographs, and other material for any purpose is prohibited without the written permission of CHINA READY®.
- Remember this video is only one of the 23 videos in the CHINA READY Training™, which contains the same distinctive and engaging animation style across all modules. If you enjoy it, enrol now. It’s cost effective and worthwhile in every way.
How will my business be promoted in China?
Exposure to mainland Chinese consumers is one of the primary benefits of CHINA READY Accreditation™.
- Once you have received Accreditation, your brand identity and product information will be uploaded to our mainland China website. You will be widely exposed to Chinese consumers who use the site to research and source reputable overseas merchants.
- At the same time, you will be entitled to display CHINA READY® Certified Trade Marks throughout your business. This shows Chinese customers that you are a provider of trusted products and services and is a powerful marketing tool in attracting more business from the China market.
- We’ll also be in touch from time to time with additional marketing opportunities available to you through our partners.