All information contained herein is provided by courtesy of Tiance and all the information we provide in this page are based upon our practice experience and current situation of the Trademark application in the P.R. China. It is for informational purposes only. It should not and may not be construed as legal advice. Any reader of this information should not act upon it without seeking professional counsel. However, it is hoped that the information provided here will be helpful to this site's visitors in familiarizing them with issues that may affect them.
The Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China stipulates that goods mark, service
mark, collective mark and certification mark can be registered in China and obtain trademark exclusive
rights. Any sign, capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one natural person,legal person or
any other organization from those of other persons, including words, devices, letters, numerals,
three-dimensional signs, combination of colours, sounds, etc., as well as the combination of such signs,
shall be eligible for application for registration asa trademark. Smell is not registrable yet in China.
The Chinese Trademark Office adopts International Classification. One trademark application is not
limited for one trademark in one class. Multi-class application is permitted in China.
The qualification of trademark registration applicant: natural person, legal entity or other type of organization.
The trademark registration term is 10 years, starting from the date of registration.
China adopts trademark examination system, a trademark should pass the procedures of formality examination and substantive examination.
1. Formality Examination
Normally speaking, formality examination will be performed within 3 months from the date of
application, and there may have three different results:
First, for those applications with complete documents and the application are accords with Trademark Law, the CTMO will issue the Official Filing Receipt after formality examination;
Second, for those applications with incomplete documents and the application do not accord with
Trademark Law, the CTMO will issues the Not-accepting Notice, and the applying date would not be
Third, for those applications that the documents were basically complete and according with trademark Law, but they were not hundred-percent eligible, the CTMO will issue a Notice of Correction, requesting the applicant to make the corrections within 30 days from the date of receiving the notice. Application will be deemed withdrawn if no response is made within the said 30 days.
2. Substantive Examination
A trademark application enters the
substantive examination procedure after passing through the formality examination. Upon substantive
examination, the Trademark Office will initially approve the application if it meets the requirements of
the Trademark Law, and publish the application at the Trademark Gazette.
The prior right owner or any interested party may, within three months from the date of
publication, files an opposition against an accepted and published application for registration of a
trademark, if he finds that the application stands in violation of the provisions of Article 13,
paragraph two or three, Article 15, Article 16, paragraph one, Article 30, Article 31 or Article 32 of
Trademark Law, or any person finds that the application stands in violation with the provisions of
Article 10, Article 11, or Article 12 of Trademark Law.
If no opposition is filed within the specified period, or opposition filed is not accepted after examination, the CTMO will register the trademark, issue the trademark registration certificate and publish the registration at the Trademark Gazette; where the opposition is accepted after examination, the application is rejected.
The protection term for a registered trademark is ten (10) years, calculated from the registration date.
The protection term can be renewed. Application for renewal of registered trademark shall be filed with
the CTMO within 12 months before the expiration of the period of validity.
If no application is filed within the said period, a grace period of 6 months is allowed with a payment of surcharge. If there is still no renewal application filed within the grace period, the registration will be cancelled.
Documents and information required for trademark renewal 1. Information of the registered trademark, especially whether any assignment or name/address changed has been recorded at the Trademark Office before renewal;
2. A copy of Registration of Certificate for our verification.
3. A copy of original Power of Attorney signed or stamped by the applicant, no legalization or notarization is required
For trademark assignment, the CTMO requires that the applicant should file the
assignment application to assign all of its/his/her identical or similar registered or pending
trademarks on identical or similar goods/services at the same time.
For assignment, the application should be filed by both the assignor and assignee and
the assignee should proceed with the assignment procedures. Upon approval, the Trademark Office will
issue Assignment Certificate to the assignee.
Documents and information required for Assignment1. Information of the registered trademark or pending application;
Documents and information required for Change1. Information of the registered trademark or pending application;
Documents and information required for the recordation of trademark license1. Information of the registered trademark to be licensed as well as a copy of Trademark Registration Certificate;
The prior right owner or any interested party may, within three months from the date
of publication, files an opposition against an accepted and published application for registration
of a trademark, if he finds that the application stands in violation of the provisions of Article
13, paragraph two or three, Article 15, Article 16, paragraph one, Article 30, Article 31 or Article
32 of this law, or any person finds that the application stands in violation with the provisions of
Article 10, Article 11, or Article 12 of Trademark Law.
After receiving a copy of the "Application for Trademark Opposition" as well as the
relevant documents dispatched by the CTMO, the opposed party should make observations within the
specified time limit. Where no response is made before the expiration of the time limit, the
examination conducted by the Trademark Office will go on unhindered.
If not satisfied with the Decision on Opposition of Trademark issued by the CTMO,
the opposed party may, within fifteen days from the receipt of the Decision, file a request for
Review with the TRAB. Law suit can be further filed if the opposed party does not satisfied with the
decision made by the TRAB.
Where the Trademark Office makes a decision to approve the application for registration of a trademark, a certificate of trademark registration shall be issued and the trademark shall be published. Where the opponent party dissatisfies with the decision, he may, in accordance with the provisions of Article 44, or Article 45 of Trademark Law, request the TRAB to declare the registered trademark invalid
Requirements on Filing an Opposition Application1. Name and address of the applicant both in English and Chinese;
TRAB accept review applications filed based on Articles 34, 35, and 54 of the Chinese Trademark Law:
Review applications filed based on Article 34 is against the rejection of trademark registration applications made by the Trademark Office.
Review applications filed based on Article 35 is against the opposition decisions made by the Trademark Office.
Review applications filed based on Article 54 is against the cancellations decisions of trademark registrations made by the Trademark Office.
An applicant can file a review application at TRAB within 15 days upon receipt of rejection notice, opposition decision or cancellation decision. TRAB will review and adjudicate the case, made the decision and notify the applicant in written. If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision of TRAB, it/he can file a lawsuit at the People's Court within 30 days upon receipt of the decision from TRAB.
Requirements on filing a review application:1. The original rejection notice, opposition decision or cancellation decision from the CTMO;
Requirements for review on refusal regarding a Madrid International Trademark1. Information of the international registration;
The period for request review is 30 days from the delivery date listed on WIPO's
cover letter forwarding the refusal notice.
A registered trademark, if it violates Articles 10, 11 and 12 (prohibition of
registration), or its registration was acquired by fraud or any other unfair means, can be cancelled
by the Trademark Office, a third party also can file a invalidaton requesting TRAB to declare the
registered trademark invalid.
A registered trademark, if it violates Article 13 of the Chinese Trademark Law
(well-known trademark protection), Article 15 (not-allowing agents or representatives to register
trademarks without authorization), Article 16 (geographic mark protection), Article 32 (not-allowing
to violate prior rights of a third party), within 5 years from the date of registration, the actual
trademark owner or party(ies) with interest can file a invalidaton requesting TRAB to declare the
registered trademark invalid.
If the trademark is registered in bad faith, there is no time limit of 5 years to
file the invalidation by the owner or party with interest (of well known mark).
Where a prior registered trademark owner believes that a later registered trademark
is identical to or similar with its trademark on identical or similar goods, it/he can request the
TRAB to review and adjudicate within 5 years from the registration date of the later registered
TRAB will make a decision for the invalidation and notify the relevant parties in
written. If any of the relevant parties does not satisfy with the decision, it/he/she can, within 30
days upon receipt of the decision, file a lawsuit against the decision at the People's Court.
Documents/information required for invalidation1. Information of the disputed trademark registration;
Based on Chinese Trademark Law, if a registered trademark is not used in three
consecutive years after registration, anyone can file cancellation application against it at CTMO.
Upon receipt of the cancellation application, the Trademark Office will notify the trademark
registrant, request it/him/her to provide use evidences or justified reasons of non-use in the three
years before the cancellation filing date, within 2 months upon receipt of the notice; where there
is no use evidences provided or use evidences provided are not valid or there is no justified
reasons for non-use, the trademark registration will be cancelled by CTMO.
The owner of a registered trademark may indicate the words "registered mark" or the
"R" symbol. Evidence such as invoices, advertisements, sales records, or Customs declarations
indicating use of the registered mark will establish use of the mark. Use by a recorded licensee and
use of the registered mark in advertisements or exhibitions in China will also satisfy the use
The cancelled registered trademark due to the continuous three-year's non-use will be
published by the Trademark Office. The exclusive right terminates from the date of cancellation
decision of the Trademark Office. If the relevant party is not satisfied with the cancellation
decision, a review request can be filed at the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB), TRAB
will then review the decision and make its own decision. If the relevant party is not satisfied with
the decision of TRAB, within 30 day upon receipt of the decision, a lawsuit can be filed at the
Requirements for filing a cancellation application based on three-year's non-use1. Information of the registered trademark to be challenged;
Where a trademark Certificate of Registration has been damaged or lost, the applicant can file a request at the CTMO for re-issuance of the certificate.
Requirements on Application for Re-issuance of Certificate of Registration1. A copy of Trademark Certificate of Registration, or registration number and trademark if the aforementioned is not available;
We usually advise clients to carry out an availability/conflict search prior to
lodging a new application, in order to ascertain the availability for registration and the
registrability of the proposed application. Note that this search is not compulsory and application
may be lodged without a search first being conducted.