China Trademark Registration
Trademarks in China are usually awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, despite whether
or not a company might be able to show ownership over that trademark. If it has been
registered in China by another entity before your registration it will possibly be rejected
completely. If a registration happens on the same day only the application received 1st will
Due to the often prohibitively great cost of trademark infringement litigation, whether a
company plans to do business in China today or at any time in the future, it is highly
suggested that they register a trademark for every piece of IP as soon as possible. While it
may look like a far off possibility today, cases in which foreign companies have their
trademarks registered by 3rd parties in China, even by partners like suppliers domestically,
are many. Registering your trademarks in China prevents both litigation wherein a company
requires to reclaim they are infringed upon trademark but also defends against litigation
wherein other companies may file suit upon your company for trademark infringement.
Trademarks in China involve any of the following:
They will define goods or services provided by an individual, legal entity, or organization
for a period of up to 10 years, renewed 6 months before the expiry of the trademark
An applicant can enjoy the right of priority when applying for registration in China,
following an agreement accessed between China and another country or an international
agreement under which both of them are parties, for 6 months directly from the date on which
the first trademark application was made.
The owner of a trademark has the right of priority for 6 months from the first day on which
the merchandise on which the trademark is first put are presented at any international
exhibition approved by the Chinese Government.
What Can Be Trademarked?
A name including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or
the signature of the person e.g, the name Dhirubai Ambani can be trademarked.
A word which is not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of
the goods / service. For example Google is a word which has been
Alphanumeric or Letters or numerals or any combination thereof. For example 555
Image, symbol, monograms, 3-dimensional shapes, letters etc. For example the tick in
Sound marks in audio format. For ex the sound in the ad jingle.
China’s Trademark Law
- Way to protect your trademarks and service marks in
China: In China, you must register your trademark with the
Chinese Trademark Office or online to protect your exclusive rights to that
trademark. The Chinese trademark law system is different from other trademark law
systems. The Chinese Trademark Law presents: “Any normal person, legal entity or
other organization planning to acquire the exclusive right to practice a trademark,
including service mark, shall apply for the registration of the trademark in the
Trademark Office or online with Trademarkcart.
Types of signs can be registered trademarks: Any
visual sign, it can be used to specify the goods or service of one ordinary person,
legal entity or any other organization from that of others, including any word,
design, letters of an alphabet, numerals, 3-dimensional symbol, mixtures of colors,
and their combination, can be filed for registration.
One major change is that before 2002, 3-dimensional symbols or mixtures of colors
cannot be registered trademarks in China, and now this section is readily available.
Needless to say that, some specific words or symbols, like country names,
international companies’ names, and symbols cannot be recorded as trademarks.
- Application First Principle: This law says that where 2 or
more applicants apply for the registration of the same or similar trademarks for
identical goods, the Trademark Office will allow the trademark application which is
the 1st register. Where applications are registered on the same day, the preceding
approval must be given to the trademark which was the earliest used, and the
applications of the others must be rejected and their trademarks must not be
published. Perhaps, where the registration of a trademark applied is similar to the
trademark of another person that same goods that have been registered or examination
or preliminarily certified. The Trademark Office will refuse the application and
shall not issue the stated trademark.
Term for a registered trademark and trademark
renewal: The period of validity of a registered
trademark must be 10 years, counted from the date of approval of the registration.
If the registrant plans to proceed to use the registered trademark beyond the
expiration of the period of validity, an application for renewal of the registration
must be made within 6 months before the said expiration. Where no application,
hence, has been filed within the stated period, a grace period of 6 months may be
allowed. If no application has been registered at the expiration of the grace
period, the registered trademark must be canceled. The period of validity of every
renewal of registration must be 10 years.
Trademark Licensing: Any trademark registrant by concluding a
trademark license agreement, allow other persons to practice his registered
trademark. The Licensor shall control the quality of the goods in respect of which
the licensee uses his registered trademark, and the license must ensure the quality
of the goods in respect of which the registered Trademark is practiced.
Where any party is allowed to use a registered trademark of another person, the name
of the license and the origin of the goods must be indicated on the goods that bear
the registered trademark. The trademark license agreement must be submitted to the
Trademark Office for the record.
- Trademark Infringements: Various acts develop an
infringement some of them are like to use a trademark that is identical to a
registered trademark in respect of the same goods without permission from the
trademark registrant. Sell goods that he/she knows to bear a counterfeited
registered trademark. To make without permission, representations of a registered
trademark of another person and to sell such representations of a registered
trademark as were falsified, or made without permission. Replace, without the
permission of the trademark registrant his/her registered trademark and exchange
again the goods bearing the replaced trademark. Lastly, cause in other respects,
prejudice to the independent right of another person to practice a registered
When trademark right is infringed, what can be done?: If your
trademark right is infringed, first, you can settle the dispute by consultation. if
you are unwilling to resolve the matter by consultation or the consultation fails,
second, you may initiate legal proceedings in the People’s Court or request the
regulatory authority for industry and commerce for actions.
The Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC) plays a remarkably important role
in China to help business entities and individuals in settling trademark conflicts
and infringement claims. AIC works on federal, provincial and municipal levels. It
is the principal government agency that is responsible for corporation registration,
fair competition, and trademark and market administration, also practices other
important functions. The AIC has the legislative authority to examine and handle any
acts of infringement of the independent rights to use a registered trademark
according to law.
When an infringing act is developed, the AIC must order the infringer to instantly
stop the infringing act, seize and destroy the violated goods and tools specifically
used for the manufacture of the infringing goods and for simulating the
representations of the registered trademark, and force a fine. Where any involved
party is unhappy with the decision on the matter, it or he may file a lawsuit in the
People’s Court according to the Official Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of
- Criminal Penalty: If any party or person applies for your
trademark, without the authorization from the trademark registrant the case will be
serious as to constitute a crime, he/she will be prosecuted. According to law, for
his/her criminal liabilities will add to his/her pay for the damages suffered by the
Procedure For Trademark Registration
Complete our trademark Form
You need to fill our simple online trademark application form & submit documents.
Conduct your trademark search
To make sure that unique logo name filed is available or not, Trademark Search is
executed by experts.
Select Appropriate Class
Depending on nature of your products, we shall suggest the appropriate class of the
Trademark Application filed
We create your Trademark application in 3 days and get your TM number.
Trademark registration completed
Your trademark is registered in 1.5 2 years if no competitor objects to your
Step Registering Trademark in China
- Step 1: China Trademark Search
We give an availability search for related pending or registered earlier trademarks.
The report comprises an Assessment from a lawyer trained in trademark law about the
registrability of a trademark and the risk of collision with trademarks previously
- Step 2: Trademark Status Search
Managing the status of your registration is a bold act to have an update on the
process. We can give you a status report for your trademark or you may use our
website to do the search yourself. Also, put your trademark into the categories of
Trademark class that i.e. out 45 categories pick the fitted category for you.
- Step 3: Trademark Application
We prepare the trademark registration application in mainland China. The
all-inclusive cost includes our attorney fees and the government fee, thinking no
refusal or opposition.
- Step 4: Application Approval
When the documents are filled, completed and submitted we will further transfer your
application to the trademark authority. They will approve it or reject it this will
take a few months.
Advantages of China Trademark Registration
It is preferable that you apply for the trademark as an individual. In a case of a proprietor
or company, if you close or change the name of the business, your trademark will become
invalid. However, in a case of an individual, this problem won’t arise.
Legal Protection. A registered trademark owner has the
legal right in case of infringement i.e. you dispute that your trademark is
copied by someone else, you accuse them of copying your logo, brand, name or
Protection from Infringement. Filing a trademark secures
the trademarked object is not used without approval by any other company or
Individual. But, if the trademark is practiced by a 3rd-party without the
permission of the owner of the trademark, the owner can demand legal protection
over the act and even accuse the person or the company who made the wrong usage
of the trademark.
Having branded goods manufactured in China, and don’t want them seized for
trademark infringement. China is a first-to-file jurisdiction for
trademarks and this means that if you don’t register your trademark, someone
else copies it. Trademark squatters with especially bad intent will register the
trademarks of foreign companies manufacturing goods in China, and then keep
those companies for ransom by threatening to grab their goods for trademark
infringement. Export-only manufacturing in China usually constitutes infringing
trademark use and so even if you are just manufacturing your product in China
for sale elsewhere, failing to register your trademark used on that product puts
you at high risk of losing your brand name or your logo to someone else in China
and not being able to maintain having your product made in China.
Enter into a licensing agreement with a Chinese
distributor. If you are going to license your products to a
Chinese distributor and those products will be traded in China under the same
brand name, then you need to own that brand name in China. You can’t license
something you don’t have. A good Chinese distributor will ask that you register
the trademark first.
Sell goods in China, if you are selling branded
products in China without having registered a trademark, there is a near 100%
possibility someone else will register your trademark in China moreover then
come after you for trademark infringement. China do not know common-law
trademarks and only has minimum recognition for famous marks. Just file your
trademarks. And register the Chinese-language version of your trademarks,
Have counterfeit goods seized by Chinese Customs. With
some limitations, a foreign trademark has no significance in China. It means
nothing to Chinese Customs. And the only method to have Chinese Customs seize
infringing goods is to initially have a Chinese trademark registration, and then
register that trademark repeatedly with Chinese customs.
File a lawsuit in China against notorious
counterfeiters. You do not have any trademark rights
in China except you have registered your trademark in China. If you try to file
a lawsuit in China for trademark infringement without really owning the
trademark in China. You will be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) how often our
China IP lawyers are asked to sue a Chinese company for trademark infringement,
only to find that the company that engaged us has no China trademark and hence
no basis for a case of infringement.
Copy of Applicant’s Id and address proof
Copy of the business/company certificate
Letter of power of attorney
Print and digital version of proposed trademark
Copy of the passport of applicant
Timeframes and Validity Period
The Trademark Office normally completes the examination of a trademark application
within 9 months of the date of filing.
The Trademark Office publishes the same if the application complies with the
applicable legal provisions.
If no objection is raised upon the published application within 3 months of the
publication date, the trademark will be registered.
A certificate of registration will issue and the registration will publish.
The registered trademarks are valid for 10 years. The validity period starts from the date of
registration. A trademark registrant may continue by working on the formalities for
Trademark Renewal within 12 months before the expiry of the validity period. A registrant
that declines to do so may be given a 6-month grace period. The validity period for every
renewal is 10 years. The period begins from the day following the expiration of the previous
period of validity.
Trademark Renewal Procedure in China
The registered trademark has a validity period of 10 years from the registration date in
China. The trademark owner can demand to renew the mark within 1 year before the expiration
date. If the mark is not renewed in the specified time, the trademark can still be renewed
in the grace period of 6 months after the expiration date. If the trademark is still not
renewed in the grace period, it will be rejected by the China Trademark Office, permanently.
I of trademark registration, the candidate must file with the Trademark Office an
Application for Renewal of Trademark Registration. After review and approval of the
application for the renewal of trademark registration, the Trademark Office must issue the
applicable certificate and publish it. The period of validity of a renewed trademark must be
calculated from the day after the expiration of the previous period of validity of the said
Requirements for trademark renewal in China:
The scan copy of the trademark owner’s identity certificate. Individual needs the
personal, while the company needs the company certificate/business license
A scanned copy of the trademark registration certificate
The official fee for the trademark renewal
FAQs on Trademark Registration
Globally, a trademark sign identifies the particular or first use of a
particular good or service, allowing consumers to distinguish between the goods
or services of different producers. The trademark can be in the form of words,
devices, letters, numerals, 3-dimensional signs (shapes), colour combinations,
or a combination of all of the above. To be eligible for registration in China,
the following features must be met: 1. The mark needs to be legal. 2. The mark
needs to be distinctive. 3. The mark cannot be functional. 4. The mark needs to
be available for registration.
You can simply visit our website Trademarkcart.com
for getting the
done for country china. Our expert team will look after all the proceedings and
the documentation for the trademark registration.
China Trademark Registration Procedures: • Step 1: Set the trademark class •
Step 2: Conduct a Trademark search • Step 3: Preparation of documents required
in the registration • Step 4: Submit all the documents to our expert team • Step
5: Examination by Trademark Office • Step 6: If no rejection from the trademark
office, a certification will be issued Note: If no objection from the general
public after the publishing of the announcement, a trademark certificate will be
issued after 1 month.
The documents required for Trademark Application are permission letter of
registration, signed a power of attorney, Id and Address Proof of the Trademark
applicant and passport.
Any individuals, registered legal entities such as a registered company, or
other organization are allowed to register and own a trademark in China.