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Latest News: 04-12-2017 (Newsletter Issue 7/17)
Official Trademark Fees Cut by Half
On March 30, 2017, the Chinese Trademark Office announced its cut of the official fees by half, effective as of April 1, 2017.

The official fee for filing a trademark application is now RMB 300 for up to 10 goods/services in one class, and RMB 30 for each additional class.

Source: CHOFN Intellectual Property, China


02-01-2017 (Newsletter Issue 3/17)
Form Requirements Changed
The Trademark Office of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce recently published its announcement on the 'Cancellation of Form Applications for the Issuance of Registration Certificates for Domestically Registered Trademarks' on its website.

The Trademark Office will cancel the former requirements for the form “Application Form for Issuance of Trademark Registration Certificate.” A Certificate of Domestic Registered Trademark (i.e. a trademark that the applicant applies for with the Trademark Office that is approved for registration) will be issued through archival inquiry by stamping “Special Seal for Trademark Registration Certificate” on the trademark archives as proof of trademark registration. When requesting a Certificate of Domestically Registered Trademark, the applicant is required to submit a personal identification document and a trademark registration number. There will be no fee for a Certificate of Domestically Registered Trademark that is issued through archival inquiry. The announcement came into force on January 1, 2017.

Source: Watson & Band Law Offices, China


01-11-2017 (Newsletter Issue 1/17)
Beijing IP Court Establishes Speedy Trial Panel
The Beijing IP Court recently established an internal Speedy Trial Panel for administrative litigation cases concerning the review of trademark application refusals. The panel will set the date for the court hearing and serve parties with subpoenas on the day on which the case is filed.

Trademark applicants can now apply to the court for a summary procedure, which will halve their legal fees and allow them to adduce evidence at the court hearing, instead of within a specific time limit. Further, applicants can brief the court about other relevant cases, such as:

- cases in which applied-for or cited trademarks have been tried;
- other cases of similar circumstances that could justify a consolidated court trial; or
- other cases whose application of law could serve as a reference.

The court will issue its judgment in cases tried via the summary procedure within 45 days. The summary procedure will:

- greatly improve the court's trial efficiency;
- allow judges to gain a full understanding of a case's background; and
- be more convenient for involved parties.

Source: Wan Hui Da Law Firm & Intellectual Property Agency, China


09-13-2016 (Newsletter Issue 16/16)
First Sound Trademark Registered
In China the first sound trademark was registered on May 14, 2016, in class 35, 38, 41 and 42 under No. 14503615, by China Radio International.

A sound mark can acquire distinctiveness only through long-term use. In the examination process, the Trademark Office can issue office action requesting the applicant to submit evidence of use and explain how the trademark acquired distinctness.

In order to effectively protect the trademark rights and prevent the difficulty of proof when others apply to cancel the trademark due to non-use of three consecutive years, the trademark owner should pay attention to keeping evidence of use during daily operation. For example, if the trademark is used in a television advertisement, the contract and invoice for producing and publishing, the evidence of broadcasting shall be kept. If the trademark is used in an online medium, the use evidences is advised to be notarized.

Source: DEQI Intellectual Property Law Corporation, China


07-25-2016 (Newsletter Issue 14/16)
Pledge Applications Received by Local AICs
The State Administrations of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) made an announcement that, after July 1, 2016, 25 local Administrations of Industry and Commerce (AICs) may receive pledge applications of trademark rights on behalf of China Trademark Office. Applications filed through the local AICs are free of charge.

According to the announcement, the local AICs may receive the application documents, prepare a list of applications, forward the application documents to China Trademark Office for examination, and deliver the pledge registration certificates to applicants. The 25 local AICs who are authorized to receive pledge applications include AICs in Zhejiang, Anhui, Guangdong, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Gansu, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Neimenggu, Jilin, Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. This new measure is aimed to further streamline administration, delegate power to lower levels, and bring convenience to the applicants.

It may be important to check whether the trademarks have been pledged when acquiring/assigning trademarks in China.

Source: www.lexfieldlaw.com


10-28-2015 (Newsletter Issue 16/15)
Official Filing Fees Decreased
On October 9, 2015, the China Trademark Office announced that as from October 15, 2015, the official fees for filing a national application per mark per class will be CNY 600 lowered from current CNY 800 if the designated goods or services are within the basic ten, and each additional item in excess of the basic then will incur official fee of CNY 60 lowered from current CNY 80.

Source: Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., China


11-25-2014 (Newsletter Issue 18/14)
Specialised IP Court Starts Operation
China has launched its first specialised court for adjudication of intellectual property-related matters - the Beijing Intellectual Property Court (BIPC). With BIPC's commencement of operations on 6 November 2014, the intermediate courts of the Beijing municipality no longer accept any IP-related civil and administrative cases.

However, for a case, as of 5 November 2014, which has been filed with an intermediate court in Beijing but has not yet been concluded, or whose filing is pending after relevant materials have been submitted to an intermediate court in Beijing, it will continue to be handled by the respective intermediate court.

Beijing's history of hearing IP cases dates back to 1993 when the country's first IP tribunal was set up within Beijing First Intermediate People's Court. By now all of the three intermediate courts in Beijing have their respective IP tribunals.

The establishment of BIPC was in accordance with a decision promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China on 31 August 2014. Two IP courts are expected to open, one in Shanghai and the other in Guangzhou, by the end of this year.

Source: China Patent Agent (HK) Ltd, China


11-25-2014 (Newsletter Issue 18/14)
Draft Provisions on Trail of Administrative Trademark-Related Cases
On 15 October 2014, the Supreme Court of PRC published "Provisions of the Supreme Court of PRC on several issues concerning the trial of administrative cases about granting and determination of trademark right (draft for comments)" for one month long public comments.

There has been a substantial increase in the number of this type of cases. In order to clarify and unify the hearing standard, the Supreme Court of PRC, on the basis of deep research and seeking advice from other sources, made the Draft.

For further information, please see the article from our Country Index Gold Partner Peksung here.

Source: Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., China


09-16-2014 (Newsletter Issue 14/14)
New Regulations on Well-Known Trademarks
On 3 July 2014, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) published the revised Regulations on Recognition and Protection of Well-Known Trademarks (the Regulations) which replaces the 2003 regulations. It became effective from 2 August 2014.

Article 14 of the new China Trademark Law stipulates the factors to be considered in affirming well-known status of a mark, and it also provides clarification on the venues for asserting well-known mark rights, including China Trademark Office (CTMO), China Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB), and the relevant courts designated by the Supreme Court of the People's Republic of China.

The Regulations are interpreted in respect of administrative recognition made by the CTMO and the TRAB, under the SAIC. Some important contents are the definition of the well-known trademarks, the venues for administrative recognition of well-known status of a mark, applicable principle as well as clarifications concerning acceptable evidentiary materials.

For further information, please see the article on 'New regulations on recognition and protection of well-known trademarks' from our Gold partner Peksung here.

Source: Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., China


09-02-2014 (Newsletter Issue 13/14)
Notice on Division of Application
On 20 August 2014, the Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO) issued a notice on how a division of application is implemented, when the CTMO has rejected a trademark application in respect of partial designated goods. The notice informs about the following:

- The CTMO will attach a form of Division of Application when it issues Notification of Partial Rejection of Application.
- If the applicant requires a division, the executed Division of Application must be submitted to the CTMO within 15 days of the receipt of the CTMO’s Notification of Partial Rejection of Application. If it is not submitted within the prescribed period, the applicant is deemed to disagree with the division.
- After the division, the application with the provisionally approved items will generate a new application to be published with a new filing number but reserved original filing date; and the original filing number will be reserved for the application in respect of the blocked items due to the partial rejection, for the purpose of appeal proceeding before China Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) or other subsequent proceedings.
- Each application for registration can be divided once only in the proceeding of rejection in respect of partial designated goods or services. Division is not applicable in other proceedings.
- There is no official fee for division of application.
- Once filed, the divisional application is irrevocable.

For further information, please see the article on 'CTMO Published Notes on Division of Application' from our Gold partner Peksung here.

Source: Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., China


09-17-2013 (Newsletter Issue 13/13)
Amendments to Trademark Law Adopted
On 30 August 2013, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) concluded its session, adopting the third amendment to the Trademark Law. The new amendment will become effective as of 1 May 2014.

Some of the most notable amendments are below:
- Application for registration of sound permissible
- Introduction of multi-class applications
- Definite timeframe for trademark examination
- Application for renewal can be made within 12 months before expiration date
- Licenses only enforceable against bona fide third parties upon recordal
- Simplified opposition procedures

For further information on the amendments, please also check the article of Xiang Gao, Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd. here

Source: www.npc.gov.cn and Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., China


05-17-2013 (Newsletter Issue 7/13)
Third Revision of PRC Trademark Law
Chinese legislators are preparing for the third revision of the PRC Trademark Law. The current PRC Trademark Law was promulgated on 23 August 1992 and was revised in 1993 and 2001 respectively. However, the third revision aims to simplify the registration process, strengthen the protection of trademark rights and improve the enforcement against trademark infringement. The latest draft of the third revision of the PRC Trademark Law (“Draft Revision”) has been released by the Chinese legislators for public comments in January 2013.

The most notable amendments contained in the Draft Revision are below:
- Expansion of Non-traditional Trademark Registration
- Simplified Registration Requirements and Procedure
- Material Change in Opposition Procedure
- The Conflict of Trademark and Trade Name
- A More Trademark Owner Friendly Burden of Proof System

The Draft Revision will still be subject to two or three more readings before it is adopted by the Chinese legislators.

For more information, please check the article of King & Wood Mallesons here

Source: King & Wood Mallesons, China


04-02-2013 (Newsletter Issue 4/13)
Trademark Office Relocated
The Chinese Trademark Office moved to a new building. Its current address is:

State Administration for Industry and Commerce Trademark Office (CTMO)
1, Chama South Street
Xicheng District
100055 Beijing
China
Tel +86 10 68 02 78 20
Fax +86 10 68 01 36 23
www.ctmo.gov.cn

Please note that the new address has not been updated on the CTMOs website www.ctmo.gov.cn.

Source: CHOFN Intellectual Property, China


03-27-2012 (Newsletter Issue 5/12)
Requirement for Search Request
The Trademark Office issued a notification of requirement on the search criteria in terms of the reproduction of the device mark. In a search request 10 or less than 10 items of goods/service, identification of sub-classes and cross-class notes should be clearly filled out. The Trademark Office will not accept a search request in which only a class number or all class is indicated.

Source: Hanhow Intellectual Property Partners, China


03-01-2011 (Newsletter Issue 4/11)
Cross-Strait (Taiwan & China) IPR Agreement
Since November 22nd, 2010, the trademark authorities of China and Taiwan have accepted trademark applications claiming priority based on a corresponding application filed on the other side of the Taiwan strait.
For further information please click here

Source: AFD China Intellectual Property, Beijing, China


09-02-2010 (Newsletter Issue 14/10)
Guidelines on Trademarking a State Name
The Chinese Trademark Office announced new guidelines on examination of trademarks comprising "中國" (China) or using the prefix "國" (State) ("Guidelines"). The Guidelines, effective from July 28th, 2010, serve to standardise examination practice of trade marks bearing reference to "中國" (China) or "國" (State).

The four conditions should be met simultaneously:
- The establishment of the applicant must be approved by the State Council of PRC or its authorized organizations;
- The applied-for mark should be consistent with the applicant’s corporate name or its abbreviation. The abbreviation should be approved by the State Council of PRC or its authorized organizations;
- The applied-for mark and the applicant have a closely corresponding relationship; and
- The specified goods or services under the applied-for mark should be consistent with the applicant’s business scope approved by the State Council of PRC or its authorized organizations

For more information please click here or contact our partner Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd.


06-04-2010 (Newsletter Issue 11/10)
Trademark Examination Cycle Shortened
Director of State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Zhou Bohua, disclosed that China has reversed the passive situation of backlog of trademark examination after two years' efforts. The examination cycle will gradually move toward normalization in 2010 and can be shortened to one year in the end of the year.

One of the reasons for the backlog is the large volume of the trademark applications. China's trademark applications rank the first in the world for seven consecutive years since 2002. As of June 30, 2009 , China's total applications for trademark registration have reached 6.77 million, while effective registered trademarks reached 2.4 million.

For more information please click here


Legal basis is the Trademark Law, in force since August 23, 1982, last amended May 1, 2014. China is a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. However, the existing trademark law protects unregistered trademarks if the mark is recognised as a well-known mark in China.
Even after the commission of Hong Kong to China, there is a separate trademark law in Hong Kong („Trademarks Ordinance“). IP rights registered in China will not be automatically protected in Hong Kong and vice versa.
Nice classification, 11th edition
Special Chinese goods and services are included.
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numerals, devices, combinations of colours, three-dimensional forms, sounds and any combination of the mentioned signs. Retail and wholesale services are still not acceptable in trademark practice in China, except those for pharmaceutical, veterinary and sanitary preparations and medical supplies. Therefore, international trademarks for such designated services will be rejected by the Trademark Office and there is no opportunity for the applicant to amend the specification or win the appeal for the rejection.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, collective marks and certification marks. China follows the first-to-file system.
The application is filed before the Trademark Office.
Multiple-class applications are possible but single-class applications are recommended.
Generally, foreign applicants need an officially recognized agent. However, as of March 10, 2017, a foreign company can file trademark applications online on the website of China Trademark Office if it uploads a colour scanned copy of certificate of identity stamped by its company seal and a colour scanned copy of proof of place of business in China; and a foreign natural person can file trademark applications online on the website of China Trademark Office if it uploads a colour scanned copy of certificate of identity signed by him or her and a colour scanned copy of Residence Permit for Foreigners valid for over one year in China.
An applicant as a legal entity must provide a copy of Certificate of Incorporation or the like, and an applicant as a natural person must provide a copy of his or her Identity Card or passport.
A simply signed or stamped power of attorney is necessary. The original can be later submitted to the Trademark Office upon request.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
A Chinese application may claim the priority of a prior foreign trademark application within six months from the filing date of the prior foreign application. A certified copy of the prior trademark application documents must be filed within three months from the Chinese filing date.
The procedure for trademark registration includes the following periods: formality check, issuing filing receipt, substantive examination on absolute grounds and relative grounds, being preliminarily approved and published, opposition and being approved for registration.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
The processing time from first filing to registration or first office action is approx. 15 months if it goes smoothly. An official filing receipt will be available in about 4 months as from the filing date after the application goes through the formality check, and then substantive examination may last no more than 9 months. If the Trademark Office does not object to the application or its office actions (the first could be issued in approx. 4 to 6 months as from the filing date) are overcome, the trademark will be published in the Trademark Gazette for opposition for 3 months. If no opposition is filed against the trademark during the publication period, or if the opposition fails, the Trademark Office publishes the registration in the Trademark Gazette and issues the registration certificate in about 2 months thereafter.
National:
The opposition period is 3 months from publication of the trademark application.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of registration.
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months after the due date.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
If the trademark has not been used for a continuous period of at least 3-years, it may be subject to cancellation. The three year period is counted backward from the application date of the cancellation request. Additionally, the registrant is required to use the trademark in the same form as that in its certificate.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee for filing a trademark application is now RMB 300 for up to 10 goods/services in one class, and RMB 30 for each additional class. There is no official fee for either publication or registration.

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Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
Search type First class Add. class
Word Mark Search (availability) 230,00 € 180,00 € 
Word Mark Search (identical) 210,00 € 160,00 € 

The Prices above are SMD Group Search Fees
Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Country Survey
04-10-2017
P. C. & Associates, Beijing, China  

09-07-2016
Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., Beijing, China

07-10-2015
Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., Beijing, China

08-28-2014
Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., Beijing, China

04-29-2014
CHOFN Intellectual Property, Beijing, China  
Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., Beijing, China

07-02-2013
Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., Beijing, China

03-14-2013
CHOFN Intellectual Property, Beijing, China  

02-28-2013
HFG, Shanghai, China

08-03-2011
AFD China Intellectual Property, Beijing, China
Peksung Intellectual Property Ltd., Beijing, China



CHOFN Intellectual Property



Tingxi Huo

Tingxi Huo
B316 Guangyi Plaza, 5 Guangyi Str., Xicheng
100053 Beijing
China (CN)
Tel +86 10 6213 9699
Fax +86 10 6213 1230
trademark@chofn.cn
www.chofn.com

Mr. Tingxi Huo, former trademark partner and leader of another Chinese IP firm, Peksung’s, trademark team, is now heading Chofn’s trademark team. Chofn, a veritable “one-stop IP shop”, is one of China’s leading firms with 19 offices in 17 cities.

Professional Team:
• 400+ patent attorneys & engineers
• 300+ trademark attorneys
• 40+ litigators
• 1400+ staff

IP Services:
• Prosecution
• Litigation
• Search
• Transaction
• Research & Training
• IP Software

Awards (selective):
• Trademark Agency of Excellence
• Outstanding IP Litigation Team in China
• ASIA IP Expert
• WTR 1000
• WIPR Leaders 2016 China

Fang & Associates



Daniel Fang

Daniel Fang
C710, Yonghe Bldg, 28 An Ding Men Dong Da Jie
100007 Beijing
China (CN)
Tel +86 10 6409 7451
Fax +86 10 6409 7457
fang@fipa.cn
www.fipa.cn

Founded in 2003, FANG & ASSOCIATES is a full service IP firm in Beijing China. We are a member of China Trademark Association (CTA), International Trademark Association (INTA), All-China Association of Patent Attorneys and China Association of Inventions. With experienced attorneys, we are able to offer full-spectrum IP-related legal services including trademark, patent, copyright, domain name, due diligence, IPR enforcement, arbitration and litigation.

P. C. & Associates



Wei Dong

Wei Dong
9th Floor Scitech Tower, No. 22 Jian Guo Men Wai Avenue, Chao Yang District
100004 Beijing
China (CN)
Tel +86 10 655 940 91
Fax +86 10 655 940 92
dongwei@pcassociates.cn, mail@pcassociates.cn
www.pcassociates.cn

Mr. Dong Wei, founder of P. C. & Associates, started his IP career after graduation from Peking University with a B.S. degree in Electronics in 1991. He qualified as patent attorney, attorney at law, and trademark attorney. In 1998, he also obtained a LLM degree from Peking University. He specializes in IP prosecution and litigation as well as advising on strategy for protection of intellectual property rights. He is one of the most experienced and well-known IP litigators in China with deep involving in some patent and trademark lawsuits deemed as first case for some certain principles. Some cases were selected as typical cases by the Supreme People's Court of China.

P. C. & Associates is a Chinese IP firm providing high-quality, all-around “one-stop” services in respect of prosecution and litigation of patent, trademark, and copyright. P. C. & Associates has a team comprised of more than 80 professionals, including 30 patent attorneys, 21 attorneys-at-Law, and 10 trademark attorneys. Headquartered in Beijing, P. C. & Associates also has branches or representative offices in Hong Kong, Silicon Valley and Shanghai.

IP Services:
- Consultation
- Prosecution
- Litigation
- Enforcement
- Search & Monitoring
- Investigation
- Domain Name Dispute Resolution
- Portfolio Management
- Translation

Borsam Intellectual Property





Room 1002, Keji Building, IECP, 105 Meihua Road, Futian
Shenzhen
China (CN)
Tel + 86 755 8207 8123
Fax + 86 755 8207 8121
mail@borsam.cn
www.borsamip.com

Established in 2006, Borsam Intellectual Property is a veteran law firm specializing in the field of Intellectual Property. With offices in Shenzhen, Xiamen, Fuzhou and Hong Kong, Borsam has considerable experience in servicing rising small and medium enterprises across all of their IP needs and has gained extensive recognition in the industry for our proactive approach and exceptional work ethic.

Borsam consists of a group of highly experienced technology attorneys who can provide a comprehensive set of integrated intellectual property services and strategies. The team of attorneys is composed of around 60 staffs, including patent attorneys, trademark attorney and professionals practicing in biological, electronic, mechanical, chemical, the arts and telegraphic communication, servicing both domestic and international clientele.

The core practice of Borsam IP lies in the protection of patents and prosecution of infringement across China (including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau) on both a domestic and international level.

The practice areas of us are:
- Patent application and prosecution
- Trademark application and prosecution
- Copyright registration and custom records
- IPR protection and patent litigation
- Patent translation and drafting
- Patent search and FTO search
- Domain name dispute solution

China Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce
No.1 Chamananjie
Xicheng District
Beijing 100055
China
Tel +86 10 6321 9616, +86 10 6321 9612
Fax +86 10 6803 7822
www.ctmo.gov.cn
http://sbj.saic.gov.cn

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8
www.wipo.int