Comparative Guides
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Results: 4 Answers
Trademarks
6.
Rights of registered and unregistered marks
6.1
What, if any, protection is afforded to unregistered trademarks?
 
China
Where a trademark used for identical or similar goods is a reproduction, imitation or translation of another person’s well-known trademark not registered in China and is liable to cause public confusion, no application for registration may be granted and its use shall be prohibited.

An application to register a trademark for identical or similar goods shall not be approved if:

  • the trademark under application is identical or similar to an unregistered trademark already used by another party;
  • the applicant is clearly aware of the existence of the trademark of that other party due to contractual, business or other relationships with the latter; and
  • that other party raises an opposition to the trademark application.

No trademark applicant may, by illegitimate means, seek to register a trademark that is already in use by another person and has acquired a certain influence.

Anyone that uses another party’s unregistered well-known trademark as a trade name and thereby misleads the public, which constitutes an act of unfair competition, shall be dealt with in accordance with the Anti-unfair Competition Law of the People’s Republic of China.

If, before a trademark applicant submits its trademark application, another party has used a trademark that has acquired certain influence and is identical or similar to the registered trademark for the same or similar goods or services, the holder of the exclusive right to use the registered trademark has no right to prohibit that party from continued use of the trademark within the original scope of use. However, the right holder may require the latter to add a mark to distinguish between the two.

For more information about this answer please contact: Stephen Yang from IP March
6.2
What legal rights are conferred by a trademark registration?
 
China
The exclusive right to use the registered trademark. However, this right is limited to trademarks which are registered upon approval and to goods for which use of the trademark is approved.

Any of the following acts shall constitute infringement of the exclusive rights to use a registered trademark:

  • using a trademark that is identical to a registered trademark for the same kind of goods without a licence from the trademark owner;
  • using a trademark that is similar to a registered trademark for the same kind of goods, or using a trademark that is identical or similar to a registered trademark for similar goods, without a licence from the trademark owner, where such use is likely to cause confusion
  • selling goods that infringe the exclusive right to use a registered trademark;
  • counterfeiting, or making without authorisation, representations of another person’s registered trademark, or selling such representations;
  • altering a registered trademark without the permission of its owner and selling goods bearing such an altered trademark;
  • intentionally committing acts that infringe the exclusive right to use a trademark, or facilitating the commission of such acts; and
  • impairing another party’s exclusive right to use a registered trademark in any other manner.
For more information about this answer please contact: Stephen Yang from IP March
6.3
If there is a separate register for descriptive marks, what legal rights are conferred by registration therein?
 
China
No.

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