As the world’s most populated country with a population approaching 1.4 billion, China is a sought-after country for trademark filing.
The procedures involved in filing a trademark application are set out below:
Before filing a trademark application the appointed Chinese attorney can conduct a preliminary search of the online database of the China Trademark Office (CTMO) to determine if similar marks are already registered. This is an optional step, but is recommended.
It is necessary for all applicants to sign a Power of Attorney and (if appropriate) also provide their company’s certificate of incorporation, together with a certified copy of any priority document (if the application is based on an existing UK or other (national) trademark application) within 3 months.
After filing the CTMO issues a preliminary examination report raising any objections to the application and proposing suggested amendments.
If the CTMO is satisfied that the trademark is sufficiently different to existing registered trademarks then they grant preliminary approval and the mark is published in the Preliminary Examination Gazette. The marks are then open to public opposition for a 3-month period.
Where there is no opposition to the mark at the end of the 3 months then the mark can proceed to registration and a notice is published in the Trademark Gazette. The registration certificate is issued in Chinese along with a Certificate of Translation.
Renewal fees on a Chinese trademark have to be paid every 10 years to avoid loss of trademark rights, and to avoid revocation for non-use the marks should be used within 3 years of registration.
If you require assistance with Chinese trademark protection please do not hesitate to contact us.