How to do China trademark registration? It is easy and not easy. 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 mark or 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. This is why you need 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 products to China.
Have a nice Chinese trademark name
You can choose words, (English letters or Chinese characters) words and drawing, or only drawings for your trademark name. How to make your local mark 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 easy to be remembered in your heart.
Trademark registration steps in China
When you have found a trademark name and decided to apply trademark in China, there are always two ways you can choose. Below is the first way you need follow step by step. It is also called local file trademark application in China.
Step 1: China trademark search
You can search for registered trademarks on CNIPA’s (Trademark Office of National Intellectual Property Administration) official website. It is legal with updated informative trademark database. You can get exact search results here. If you are not familiar with it, we can help you do trademark search, addtional fees will occur.
- Searching for similar trademark as you plan to register
- Get detailed information about different trademark
- Know the status of different application, even it is not your own
If you do search by yourself, you need understand some Chinese or do search with some translation tools. Below we show you detailed steps. We aslo have one vedio about how to search China trademark.
When you visit google and type China trademark search, usually there are many of sites with china trademark search box like below.
But these sites are not official site and the database is not correct which will mislead your search. What you need to do is find the official China trademark office website for your searching.
China trademark offical office
Please click here for official trademark searching website. I have also switched to English version (You need open it with IE explore or Firefox explore). Now you can begin your searching online in English. It is also free china trademark search tool.
As you can see above picture, you just click SISTM (search for identical or similar TMs). The screen will turn to below.
International Classification means what Niche class you plan to reigster your trademark, it is one must input information.
Search mode means you can search your trademark in different ways.
- Chinese character: If your mark is in Chinese language, you can choose this way;
- Chinese pinyin: If your mark is in Pinyin, Such as Xiaomi, Huawei, you just click this way;
- English: Most of overseas company reigster their trademark in English, so you must search your mark in this format if plan to register English name;
- Numeral: If your mark consists of numbers, you need choose this way to search similar mark or phrases;
- Acronym: If your mark is in shortage of some words or phrase, you need choose this way;
- Graph: If your mark is designed originate from one kind of product or animal in the world, you need use this way to compare the similar graph.
Trademark content means your mark name, usually it is in words or phrases. Now we take one example to show you how to use this tool.
Just take Apple for example. Input apple in Niche class 9. We can see below.
There are totally 1545 results you can see. It is just sreenshot the first page. Most of them are registered by Apple company (China and USA), but the lines in red color are not registered by Apple. I am sure they are objected by the trademark office (CNIPA), let’s just click number 5 line.
You can see the application number, date of application and name of application and international classification. When you click the trademark procedure, you can see below information as screenshot. It means that it is one objected registration. And it is the finally decision.
This is the automatic searching we shared with you, we also need do selective searching as screenshot below.
There is one additional search type with more database for your choosing. If you select different types, the search result will be not same.
We usually do search with combined ways mentioned above for detailed information. This is why we sugget you use official trademark search website for deep searching. Here I will not take example for this type of searching.
After your deep searching following above steps, if you find your mark is available to register, you can go on next steps to continue.
Step 2: 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 thorough 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)
Step 3: Finish the whole registration process
In this step, you will get one trademark certificate with detailed information, such as the trademark name, trademark owner, trademark registration number, classes, registration date and so on.
Marid agreement or protocol trademark registration
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 applicant 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, even it is not registered is accepted.
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.
How long 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.
Advantages of registering trademark in China
This question is often asked by our customers to confirm if it is worth to spend money to apply for trademark. I would like to share the advantages of haveing one trademark.
- You can sell it
- You can transfer it
- You can use it for your purpose in business
- You can avoid others to register your original brand in China
China trademark filing requriements
- Trademark words, sign or phrase
- The applicant name, address or company name and address
- Contact information such as email or phone number
China trademark registration cost
|services fees (USD)||government fees (USD)||total (USD)|
|1||trademark checkup fees Chinese or English words||100||100|
|2||Trademark registration fee (one Niche class with 10 sub classes)||200||50||250|
|3||reply to trademark objection||100/reply|
|4||overcome to the objection||300/reply|
|Part 1 and 2 are must pay cost, if your mark do not meet objection, part 3 and 4 will not occur.|