The State Intellectual Property Office (CNIPA) promoted the revision of the Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China and on January 13, 2023, issued the Amendment to the Trademark Law (Draft for Comments), which is now open for comments.

Specific opinions on the revision and improvement of the Draft for Comments must be submitted before February 27, 2023.

This revision was necessary, as read in the CNIPA official website, to comply with the requirements of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on "strengthening the legal protection of intellectual property rights", further improve the trademark system and solve the outstanding problems in the trademark field.

Many amendments were introduced, expanding the Trademark Law to 10 chapters and 101 articles. Among them, 23 new articles were added, 6 new articles were split from existing articles, 45 articles were substantially revised, and 27 existing articles were maintained.

Key Points:

1. When applying for a trademark, it is necessary to explain the use or intended use of the trademark.

2. After trademark registration, trademark use instructions shall be submitted to the CNIPA every five years.

3. The principle of good faith should be observed when applying for trademarks and trademark rights protection.

4. Repeated application is prohibited. The same owner is allowed to hold only one identical trademark on the same goods.

5. The types of malicious trademark applications are clarified, and the standard of trademark hoarding is lowered.

6. The trademark objection period will be shortened to 2 months (based on this, the defense and supplement period will also be shortened to 2 months).

7. Cancel the non-registration review procedure, saved at least 12 months.

8. Under certain circumstances, the successful applicant for invalidation may request the compulsory transfer of the ownership of the applied trademark to his own name. There is no such provision for the objection procedure.

9. Malicious preemption and malicious litigation shall bear civil liability.

10. Improve the entry threshold of trademark agencies, and a number of trademark agencies will be eliminated.

For the full scheme with the comparison between the actual law and the new one, click here.

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.