On December 14, 2012, the China Trademark Office issued a Notice
on Adding Trademark Specifications on Retail and Distribution
Service Trademarks. In this Notice, the CTMO specifies that
"Retail and Distribution Service for pharmaceutical,
veterinary, sanitary and medical goods" will be added in Class
35 of the Revision of 10th Edition of Goods and Services
Classifications in China, and the new Revision will be effective
dated January 1, 2013.
According to the Notice, the newly expanded service will not be
deemed as similar to pharmaceutical goods. Also, the services are
also different from prior "Distribution for others" in
Before the Notice, the CTMO always rejects trademark
applications on retail, wholesale services. Companies generally
rely on registering trademark in "distribution for
others" to try to cover their retail or wholesale business in
China. However, this rule denied this practice and open trademark
registration in medicine retail and wholesale service. Therefore,
the failure of registering such trademark will lead the
pharmaceutical distribution companies in great danger of losing
their trademarks in China.
In light of this, all the pharmaceutical companies, especially
those who have pharmaceutical retail and wholesale business in
China, are highly recommended to register their trademarks in China
by adding the goods in the transitional period as soon as possible,
either for use or defense.
For all the other companies in the business of retail and
wholesale, it is recommended to keep an eye on the trend and apply
trademark in this Group 3509 of Class 35 (If Group 3509 covers
general retail and wholesale business).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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