China has been No. 1 in the world for thirteen consecutive years
in terms of number of trademark applications and registrations.
According to statistics, until September 2015 the cumulative number
of trademark registration applications in China had amounted to
17,641,700, and the total number of trademark registrations had
been 11,762,900. To better protect exclusive trademark rights, the
third amendment to the Trademark Law became effective as of May 1,
2014. Since then, China Trademark Office (CTMO) had been also
taking some policy measures to further improve services for
On March 24, 2016, the CTMO announced seven measures online.
Based on problems encountered in the practice of acceptance of
trademark applications and new situation due to implementation of
new Chinese Trademark Law and the Implementing Regulations, the
China Trademark Office (CTMO) recently concluded answers to
frequently asked questions in the procedure of trademark
application for registration. The FAQs were published online on
China Trademark Website on March 21, 2016.
In order to reduce trademark applicants' burden and shorten
the processing time, the CTMO does not require notarization of
evidential materials for application for registration of a
trademark which is portrait or name of a celebrity's; for a
trademark transfer or cancellation; and for correction of a foreign
applicant's name or address.
For better guidance to an applicant's amendment, in the
notification of requirement for amendment some explanatory or
instructional content will be added according to the specific
circumstances, so that the applicant can make rectification more
pertinently or more accurately.
In some opposition cases, it is allowed to share one set of
evidence if the evidence used for those cases is totally identical
(not partially identical). Generally, the complete set of evidence
is submitted with the opposition filed firstly according to the
date of filing. As for other oppositions which can be supported by
the same set of evidence, the applicant may not provide the same
but must indicate the case of the first opposition with which the
evidence is submitted, namely, the provisional number of the mark
opposed firstly or the receipt number of the filing of the first
If both parties are identical, the opposed marks are identical,
the same set of evidence is shared, or both parties file
oppositions against each other, those cases can be put together for
examination. Any party can propose other reasons for examination
together, and the CTMO may approve to examine them together if the
CTMO deems the reasons acceptable.
Concerning some post-registration matters such as change of an
applicant's or registrant's name or address, trademark
assignment, or trademark renewal which an applicant, on the basis
of urgent or serious grounds, believes that it is necessary for the
CTMO to speed up examination, the applicant can submit a written
request for acceleration. If the CTMO thinks the request eligible,
it will speed up the examination so that the waiting time for the
certificates can be shortened.
China Trademark Office is optimizing its website by regulating
setup of some columns, updating the contents more quickly,
improving stability of its website, and improving function of
search for trademark status, and adding information concerning
receipt and return of documents.
Xiang Gao is a partner at Peksung Intellectual Property and head
of its trademarks department. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared in World Intellectual Property
Review May/June 2016, Published by Newton Media Ltd.
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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