The Trademark Office now accepts two ways for filing new trademark applications, namely online filing and paper filing. Previously, agents and applicants usually went to the Trademark Office to file new trademark applications in person or through mailing; but with the influence of the COVID-2019 virus, it is more advisable to file new trademark applications online.
There are several differences between online filing and paper filing.
Online filing is cheaper than paper filing. The basic official fee of paper filing is CNY300 for one mark in one class; while through e-filing, the CNIPA offers 10% off official fee, which is CNY270 for one mark in one class, if the goods /services are within basic ten.
The business time of online filing is longer than that of paper filing. If an applicant wants to file new trademark applications in person, he needs to visit the Trademark Office before 4:30pm; otherwise, the Trademark Office will be closed, and the new trademark applications cannot be filed. If the applicant chooses to file application through mailing, the filing date of the application shall be the date on which CNIPA receives the application documents, which is not good for the applicant according to "first to file" principle in China. However, the online filing system accepts online filings before 8:00pm, which gives an applicant more time to prepare and file new trademark applications.
The application number of online filing is issued earlier than that of paper filing. For paper filings, the applicant will receive filing receipts with application numbers in around 1-2 months after filing applications. For online filings, the applicant will know the application numbers just the next day after filing.
The documents of online filing are simpler than those of paper filing. When a domestic applicant wants to file trademark applications in person, he needs to provide hard copies of original signed application forms, business licenses (ID cards), and Power of Attorney. But when he chooses to file trademark applications online, there is no need to provide the signed application form and he only needs to provide scanned copies of the other documents, which will save much time of delivery.
When an applicant files trademark applications in person, he will receive all the further notifications in paper as well, including filing receipts, notifications of rejection (if any), publications and registration certificates. This will waste a lot of time to receive and forward the relevant documents, especially for notifications of rejection, which has a 15 days deadline to respond. However, if an applicant files trademark applications online, he will receive all the further notifications electronically. This will save a lot of time. Especially for notifications of rejection, the official receipt date will be deemed as 15 days after the applicant receives the electronic copy of official notification, and then the applicant still has another 15 days to file a response. So this in fact gives the applicant more time to evaluate the situation and make a decision whether to file response or not.
After comparison, we conclude that online filing is more convenient and cheaper than paper filing, and it is also a trend to do things online. We, Kangxin Partners, P.C. now have our own platform that can receive orders for many trademark cases online. These orders will be proceeded online as well. You can see more details at eservice.kangxin.com. We welcome all the readers to try our platforms, and hope all of you find it useful.
Originally published July 7, 2020.
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