Trademark Registration

Trademark in China

A trademark is a sign that serves the specific and primary purpose of identifying the goods or services of a producer, which allowing the consumers to distinguish goods or services of one producer from those of another.

Everyone knows that the globalization is strongly connected each other in different areas, for communication, travelling worldwide, business developing. We expose ourselves in short time by internet, same as our products or services do. Protecting your own brand image is seriously important, not only in your local market, but also worldwide. China takes very important role in worldwide economy with its hugh marketplace. So why not register trademark in China right now?

China is a first-to-file country. It means that the person who register the trademark first, who will get all the rights to distribute and sell the products to China. You can take a look at this case.

China trademark search registration

Trademark registration process in China

When you decided to apply trademark in China, there are always two ways you can choose. Below is the first way you need follow step and step. It is also called local file trademark application in China.

Have a nice trademark or name

You can choose words, words and drawing, or only drawings for your trademark. How to make your local trademark connected with Chinese trademark when people remind it in mind? Actually it is very important for business developing, especially at the beginning.

Phonetic translation is a good way for you to make the Chinese name sound similar to the English name. For example, Boeing is translated as Bo Yin, it sounds similar to the English name and very easy to remember in public. Another good way is literal translation. Take facebook for example. It was translated into Lian Shu in China. It does not mean anything for the company, nor shows that facebook is one internet company. But it is nice name for the company, short and remembered in your heart soon.

If you need any help, please feel free to contact with us. We are native Chinese office and will give you best solution.

China trademark search steps

You can search for China register trademark on CNIPA’s (Trademark Office of National Intellectual Property Administration) official website. If you are not familiar with it, we can help you do trademark search in Chinese.

1.Searching for similar trademark as you plan to register
2.Get detailed information about different trademark
3.Know the status of different application, even it is not your owns
4.Public annoncements. It is usually the government annoncement.

In this step, you need understand Chinese or do search with some translation tools. Below is the vedio about how to search China trademark. You can do it yourself following this vedio.

Submit application to China trademark office

After we have studied with your case, we will prepare documents and submit for application. You need give detailed information about your company or your personal information. In China, CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration) is responsible to handle the applications of trademarks.
1. CNIPA reviews the application and confirms whether you can proceed or if complementaries are needed.
2. CNIPA starts a thoroughgoing process to register the trademark (normally takes 6 months)
3. Approves and issues the trademark (takes generally 2 months when the above process has finished)
4. You receive a certificate of approval (normally takes 2 additional months)

The second way to register trademark in China is that you have registered trademark in your local country. You can extend your domestic trademark in China.

This possibility is only available to application who come from countries which is a party to the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol, the two main international treaties concerning the international registration of trademarks. They are similar but not same. The main difference is that in the Protocol, it is possible to apply for the extension of the trademark to other countries, even before it is registered in the country of origin, when it is still at the stage of application. China is a member of both organization.

The application for extension to China is made to the office of WIPO in Europe and USPTO in USA. For the nationals of a member State of the Madrid Agreement, the application must be based on a registered trademark. For the nationals of a member State of the Madrid Protocol, a simple trademark application, not yet registered, is sufficient.

Upon receipt of the application, WIPO enters a record in the International Register and publishes the application in the International Trademark Gazette and notifies the Trademark Authorities of the country(ies) concerned by the extension. A period of three months for oppositions by third parties starts on the 1st day of the next month following the publication in the Gazette.

If no objection is made by the Trademark Authority of the countries concerned, within a period of one year (Madrid Agreement) to 18 months (Madrid Protocol) from the date on which the trademark was recorded in the International Register, the trademark is considered registered, from the date of the certificate issued by WIPO or USPTO.

Finish the whole registration process

Frequently Asked Questions

If foreign company or foreigner can register a trademark in China?

YES.

In fact, if you’re a non-resident in China, or have a foreign company, you need to seek help from a trademark agency.
The application is filed through China’s national registration system, also called Trademark Office of CNIPA.

Can I use a foreign agent to register my trademark in China?

No. If you are foreigner or you have company in China, you need find one Chinese agent to handle your registration, but you can contact with your local agent which have partnership with their own China agent. They will give you solution with the help of the agent in China.

How many trademark classes in China?

Same as other countires in the world, trademark registration follow the Nice classes in China. You just choose same classes as you need in your local places.

How long does it take to register a trademark in China?

Generally speaking, it will take 10 months to finish the total process due to the CNIPA has worked hard to short time for all application from 2018.

How many years will be valid once my trademark has been registered in China?

The registered mark will be valid for 10 years. You need renew the mark after  10 years upon the date of registration.

How much does a trademark registration in China cost?

Normally there will be two fees you need pay, searching fees and services fees.  For more information you can check our pricelist here.

Can I register my local name with Chinese name together?

Yes, you can apply the combined registration with your local name and Chinese name one time, but you have to use them together on your product, package printing. If you need use them seperately, you need register your local name and Chinese name in seperate, which means there will be two application. Most of customers prefer register in seperate.

Can I finish trademark reistration online free by myself?

Definitely yes. If you understand Chinese, you can go to offical website and file the application yourself, but you need also submit your personal information on the site.

What is the TM and R symbol mean? or what is the difference?

If a trademark is registered with the United States Trademark Office, then you can use the ® symbol. If the mark is not registered, then you should use the TM or SM symbols. The TM symbol can be used for any mark whether in use on goods and/or services. Same princeple is in China.

What can be registered as your trademark?

The following marks or signs are acceptable for registration in China.

  • Words
  • Names
  • Certain 3-dimensional shapes
  • Slogans or phrase
  • Colors
  • Sounds
  • Combination of all of the above elements
  • Collective marks
  • Service marks
  • Certification marks
  • Well-known marks
How important to apply a trademark by one experienced attorney in China?
When you search China trademark office online, there are many many sites displaying on your screen. One professional attorney, with China trademark database, can help you save time and money in application process. It is guarantee that you can run business as well as establish your brand with the mark.
What is the difference between a trademark, copyright, and patent?

A trademark protects words that describe the unique source of a product or service. A copyright protects original music, art, and writing. Patents protect inventions and improvements to existing inventions.

Amendment to China trademark law

(1) Amend the first paragraph of Article 4 as below:

If a natural person, legal person or other organization needs to obtain the exclusive right to use a trademark for its goods or services in its production and business activities, it shall apply to the Trademark Office for trademark registration. The purpose of the malicious trademark registration application shall be rejected.

(2) Amend the third paragraph of Article 19 as below:

A trademark agency knows or should have known that a trademark applied for by a client belongs to the provisions of Articles 4, 15 and 32 of this Law, and may not Accept its commission.

(3) Amend Article 33 as below:

For the trademark for the preliminary examination and approval, within three months from the date of the announcement, the prior rights holder and the interested party consider that it is in violation of Article 13, paragraph 2, of this Law and Articles 3, 15, 15 (1), 30, 31, and 32, or any person who considers to be in violation of Articles 4 and 10 of this Law Article 11, Article 12, Article 19, paragraph 4, may file an objection to the Trademark Office. If there is no objection after the expiration of the notice, it shall be approved for registration, and the trademark registration certificate shall be issued and announced.

(4) Amend the first paragraph of Article 44 as below:

A registered trademark violates the provisions of Articles 4, 10, 11, 12, and 19, paragraph 4 of this Law. If the registration is obtained by deception or other improper means, the Trademark Office shall declare the registered trademark invalid; other units or individuals may request the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board to declare the registered trademark invalid.

(5) Amend “more than one to three times less” in the first paragraph of Article 63 to “more than one time and five times less”; in the third paragraph, “three million yuan or less” is revised to “five million yuan or less.

Adding two paragraphs as the fourth paragraph and the fifth paragraph respectively: “The people’s courts hear trademark dispute cases, and at the request of the right holder, the goods belonging to the counterfeit registered trademarks shall be ordered to be destroyed except for special circumstances; Materials and tools for the manufacture of counterfeit registered trademarks shall be ordered to be destroyed without compensation; or in special circumstances, the materials and tools shall be prohibited from entering commercial channels without compensation.
“Commodities that are counterfeit registered trademarks may not enter commercial channels after only removing counterfeit registered trademarks.

(6) Amend the third paragraph of Article 68, paragraph 1, as below:

Violation of the provisions of Articles 4 and 19, paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Law.

Add one more policy in the fourth paragraph: “For malicious registration of trademark registration, give administrative warnings such as warnings and fines according to the circumstances; if a trademark lawsuit is filed against a malicious person, the people’s court shall impose a penalty according to law”.



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