It is well known that trademark abuse in China is rife. 

Many are reticent to take legal action to enforce their trademark rights there, stop infringements and recover compensation, based on the commonly held view that it is too difficult to do so, the chances of success are too low, it doesn't pass the 'cost v benefit' test or it's simply going to be too much hassle.

However this record payout to New Balance is an encouraging sign and reflects that things are moving in the right direction and, having joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, it is clearly in China's own interests to continue to improve its record on trademark abuse and encourage overseas brands trading in China.  

China is continuing to take steps to reform and strengthen its trademark laws so as to enable better brand protection by increasing punishment for infringers and making it easier to enforce trademark rights in China. 

There is still a long way to go but this latest ruling is further evidence of positive progress and backs up my view that it is always worth at least giving serious consideration to taking action if your trademarks are being infringed in China, even if the ultimate decision is to refrain from issuing legal proceedings.