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Results: 4 Answers
What constitutes a trademark?
What types of designations or other identifiers may serve as trademarks under the law?
Any signs – including words, graphs, letters, numbers, three-dimensional symbols, colour combinations, sounds or any combination thereof – that are capable of distinguishing the goods of a natural person, legal person or other organisation from those of others may be applied for registration as trademarks.

For more information about this answer please contact: Stephen Yang from IP March
What are the requirements for a designation or other identifier to function as a trademark?
A trademark submitted for registration must bear noticeable characteristics and be readily distinguishable, and must not conflict with legitimate rights previously obtained by others.

For more information about this answer please contact: Stephen Yang from IP March
What types of designations or other identifiers are ineligible to function as trademarks?
None of the following signs may be used as trademarks:

  • signs that are identical or similar to the state name, the national flag, emblem or anthem, the military flag, emblem or songs or medals of the People’s Republic of China; or signs that are identical to the names or emblems of central state organs, the names of specific locations where central state organs are seated, or the names or designs of landmark buildings;
  • signs that are identical or similar to the state name, national flag, national emblem or military flag etc of a foreign country, except with the consent of the government of that country;
  • signs that are identical or similar to the name, flag or emblem of an international inter-governmental organisation, except with the consent of that organisation or except where it is unlikely to mislead the public;
  • signs that are identical or similar to an official mark or inspection stamp that indicates control and guarantee, except where authorised;
  • signs that are identical or similar to the symbol or name of the Red Cross or the Red Crescent;
  • signs that discriminate against any nationality;
  • signs that are deceptive and likely to mislead the public in terms of the quality, place of production or other characteristics of the goods; and
  • signs that are detrimental to socialist ethics or customs, or that have other unwholesome influences.

No geographical names of administrative divisions at or above the country level or foreign geographical names known to the public may be used as trademarks, except where the geographical name has another meaning or constitutes part of a collective trademark or certification trademark. Registered trademarks in which geographical names are sued shall remain valid.

None of the following marks may be registered as trademarks:

  • a mark which bears only the generic name, design or model number of the goods concerned;
  • a mark which only directly indicates the quality, principal raw materials, function, use, weight, quantity or other features of the goods; or
  • a mark that otherwise lacks distinctive character.

However, such a mark may be registered as a trademark if it has acquired distinctive features through use and is readily distinguishable.

No application for registration of a three-dimensional symbol as a trademark may be granted where the sign merely indicates the shape inherent in the nature of the goods concerned, or is dictated by the need to achieve technical effects or the need to give the goods substantive value.

Where a trademark bears a geographical indication of the goods and the place indicated is not the origin of the goods in question, thus misleading the public, the trademark shall not be registered and its use shall be prohibited. However, where the registration is obtained in good faith, it shall remain valid.

For more information about this answer please contact: Stephen Yang from IP March