Liaoning sees trademarks as strategic tool

By Zhang Zhao (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-10-27 08:13
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Liaoning sees trademarks as strategic tool

Li Tiemin. Provided to China Daily

Liaoning's trademark strategy is playing a crucial role in the province's revival as it adapts to the market economy, said Li Tiemin, chief of the provincial administration of industry and commerce.

"Intellectual property is becoming one of the most important strategic resources in international competition, and trademarks are key to that," he explained.

Nicknamed "the eldest son of the republic" for its role in the founding of New China, the northeastern province failed to adjust to the market economy during the nation's early opening up and reform.

A new trademark strategy is among the province's latest efforts to build leading industrial centers and world-renowned brands.

The government is encouraging local enterprises to register their marks and apply for status as well-known trademarks. There are now nearly 100 well-known trademarks in the province.

Dahua Group, one of the nation's oldest chemical producers headquartered in Dalian, is one example of a State-owned enterprise that focused on building its trademark.

Dating back to the 1930s, and using state-of-the art processes to make basic chemicals such as soda and sulfuric acid, Dahua enjoys great fame nationwide. But in the late 1990s, the company found low-quality products using the Dahua name on sale made by other firms.

"Unfortunately, Dahua was actually the name of our company at that time, not one of our trademarks, so it turned out to be very hard to protect out products then," said Yan Chenghua, deputy manager general of Dahua, "It was until then did we realize how important the trademark is."

The company registered Dahua as a trademark in 2007. It was approved a well-known trademark two years later.

Its logo, which is also painted on the top of its eight-story factory building along with huge Chinese characters that say "well known trademark", is intended to make "our employees never forget what we are, and to further sharpen our brand", said Yan.

Another example is Haiyantang Biology Co Ltd, also based in Dalian, an advanced processor of sea cucumbers.

Taking its name from a hall in Yuanmingyuan Palace, a famous complex of imperial gardens built in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that was destroyed by war, Haiyantang has the connotation of a clean river and calm sea.

Haiyantang's president Shao Junjie said the sea cucumber is not only seafood. By developing high-tech products including sea cucumber capsules, the company aims to move higher on the value chain.

To promote their brand and make their trademark known to wider public, the company produces a journal on healthy food and holds annual sea cucumber festivals with promotional events and lectures.

Innovation is a key word in brand building by Anshan Heavy Duty Mining Machinery Co Ltd. Based in central Liaoning's Anshan, the company is one of the nation's largest makers of vibrating screens used for sorting coal. Its Anzhong brand is one of the province's famous trademarks.

"Technical innovation and brand building are two key issues since the company was founded," said Yang Yongzhu, president of the company, a former machinery designer and engineer.

Started in 1994 by Yang and his wife, the company has drafted 16 of the total 29 national standards for vibrating screens.

"Of all the honors we have won, we most value the Top 10 Coal Dressing Equipment Maker award because we were actually selected by customers," he said.

Wellhope Agri-Tech Co Ltd, based in Shenyang, capital of the province, is a flagship animal feed producer with the well-known trademark Wellhope. It also has a product testing center that uses leading technology.

With established brands, many local companies have begun their adventure in overseas markets.

Anshan-based Huaye Group, one of China's leading electrical equipment manufacturers, exports its products, mainly transformers, to the United States, Germany and a number of developing nations.

Shenyang-headquartered Brilliance Auto boasts two well-known trademarks - Brilliance and Jinbei - that are registered in about 130 countries and regions through the Madrid Agreement on international trademarks.

China Daily