Recently, the CNIPA issued the Notice on Strengthening the Relevant Work on the Protection of Well-Known Trademarks while Handling Trademark Violations.

The Notice lays out the related work on further strengthening protection of well-known trademarks while investigating and handling trademark violation cases from three aspects:

  • investigating and handling the cases related to well-known trademarks in strict accordance with the statutory authority and time limit,
  • effectively standardizing the application and utilization of well-known trademarks, and
  • highlighting the key points to effectively strengthen the protection of well-known trademarks.

The Notice further provided directions of standardizing the determination, application and use of well-known trademarks, including

  • strengthening auditing and guidance and regulating according to law,
  • requiring all levels of IP authorities to guide enterprises to correctly understand the recognition and protection system of well-known trademarks.

The Notice proposes that it is necessary to correctly distinguish the boundaries between the proper use of "well-known Trademarks" and the illegal use of the words and clarified that an enterprise can make factual statements on the record of trademark protection of well-known trademarks in its business activities. If the enterprise intends to downplay the legal status of recognition and protection of well-known trademarks and uses the words "well-known trademarks" as an honorary title in a prominent manner to promote the enterprise or promote the goods or services run by the enterprise, it will be investigated and dealt with in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Trademark Law.

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