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China Trademark protection

Update Date:2020-6-8 15:56:48     Views:1803

China Trademark protection Services


1. What kinds of trademarks can be protected in China?
In China, if you want your trademarks to be protected by Chinese laws, you must enjoy exclusive rights to utilize these trademarks. How can you acquire the exclusive rights to use your trademarks? Under the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China (hereafter called Chinese Trademark Law), the only condition by which you enjoy exclusive rights to use your trademarks is based on the fact that your trademarks have been registered with the Chinese Trademark Office. So you have to pay close attention to trademark registration because only a Chinese registered trademark can be protected in China. What I need to mention is that the registration must be one that was done with the Chinese Trademark Office or extended to China through the Madrid Protocol and agreed by the Chinese Trademark Office after its substantial examination. This is different from some Common Law countries. For example, in some common law countries, the user of a trademark can acquire the exclusive right to use the trademark by using the trademark in commerce. For the past 10 years, I experienced many cases in which our foreign clients complained that their trademark rights were infringed upon in China. However, the fact was that their trademarks had not been registered with the Chinese Trademark Office. They often argued that their trademarks had been registered or used in their own countries. Unfortunately, the Chinese Trademark Law can provide protection to their trademarks only if they have been registered in China itself.

2. What kinds of signs can be Chinese registered trademarks?
According to Chinese Trademark Law, any visual sign, if it can be used to distinguish the goods or service of one natural person, legal entity or any other organization from that of others, including any word, design, letters of an alphabet, numerals, three-dimensional symbol, combinations of colors, and their actual combination, may be filed for registration. What I want to further mention or emphasize is, before 2002, any three-dimensional symbol or combination of colors cannot be a registered trademark in China. The law has changed since 2002. So far, Chinese Trademark Law does not allow sound marks, smell marks or other kinds of marks to be registered and the Chinese Trademark Office still doesn’t accept these types of trademarks’ registration applications.

3. Application First Principle
This principle is, where two or more applicants apply for the registration of identical or similar trademarks for the same or similar goods, the Trademark Office will grant the trademark right to whichever application is filed first. Where applications are filed on the same day, the trademark right shall be granted to the earliest user, and the other applications shall be rejected and their trademarks shall not be published.

Apparently, where a trademark registration application is identical or similar to the trademark of another person that has, with respect to the same or similar goods, been registered or, after examination, preliminarily approved by the trademark office, the Trademark Office shall reject the application and shall not publish the said trademark.

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