China Trademark Application
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Introduction

    China trademark registration covers the wide span of Mainland China including the Special Economic Zones such as Shenzhen.

    Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are separate jurisdictions and thus not covered by China trademark registration but need to be applied for individually.

    There are 2 routes to register one's trademark in China : (1) national trademark application, or (2) Madrid international designation of China.

    In either route, foreign company or individual can apply to register their marks in China without nationality restriction or residency requirement. There is no need to set up company, office or address inside China.

    China trademark application is on first-to-file basis. Prior use, unless well-known, is mostly irrelevant. There is no equivalent of the Common law action of passing off. Filing date and registration are all important in the claim and creation of China trademark rights.

    Application can base on intent to use. Neither commencement of use nor proof of use is required for the issuance of the trademark certificate in national application. No declaration of continual use is required for renewal. Nonetheless, if a registered trademark is not used in Mainland China for any continuous period of 3 years, any interested person can apply for its removal on the ground of non-use.

    For national application, there is no pre-requisite. Foreign applicant only need to use an official China trademark agent to file its application.

    For Madrid international designation of China, the applicant need to (1) be a national of a Madrid signatory member state or has "real and effective industrial or commercial establishment" in such a state; (2) file a national trademark application in such a state; (3) request for Madrid international registration; and (4) designate China.

     

Fees

The fee for national application is HK$5,500 per mark per class. This fee is inclusive of the government fee and the professional fees for 10 items of goods or services in the applied class. There is no charge for the publication, registration and issuance of the trademark certificate.

If the specified goods or services in any one class exceed 10 items (as selected from the China detailed list), the 11th item onwards will attract an item charge of HK$250 each. If the application proceeds straight-forwardly without encountering objection or opposition, no further fee is needed.

In the event of any partial or total refusal by the examiner of the Trademark Office, the client has the choice of applying for review by the Trademark Review & Adjudication Board at additional fee according to the complication. In the event of any opposition by third party, the client has the choice of defending the application at additional fee, or to abandon the application at no extra charge.

 

Search

Prior to filing, the chance of success can assessed by having a search at the fee of HK$750 per mark per class. The search is inclusive of both identical and similarity search. Pre-application search report is available within 5 days of instruction.

Due to the time lag in the updating of the China trademark database, the search does not cover the new pending applications filed in the most recent 4 months.

Search is optional at the choice of the client. If the client’s mark consists of simple logo or common words found in dictionary, search is usually recommended. On the other hand, if the client’s mark is an invented word, or a complex logo, then the client may take a chance to file the application without search.

 

Timeframe

The usual time needed for China national trademark application to complete is 15 to 20 months :

Filing receipt and filing number
within 2 months
Application searchable in official website
within 5 months
Substantive examination
6 - 9 months
Opposition period after publication
3 months
Issuance of trademark certificate
3 - 5 months

Upon registration, a registered trademark is first valid for 10 years and is renewable indefinitely for further periods of 10 years each by paying the renewal fee.

For details on renewing registered trademark, please refer to China Trademark Renewal .

China trademark certificate sample :

 

Chinese Name & Address

All details to be filed in China national application has to be in Chinese or have a Chinese translation.

If the applicant has no Chinese version or translation of its name and address, we will provide a translation for the purpose of filing China national trademark application.

 

Specification

The specification of goods or services in China national application should normally be based on the China translated list of the WIPO detailed goods list plus some indigenous Chinese additions (ie. preceded by 6 digit number without or with the "C" prefix respectively).

The China national application fee of HK$5,500 is inclusive of 10 items of specified goods from that list. Additional item beyond the 10 in each class applied for, if any chosen, has an item charge of HK$250 each.

The basic guideline of working is on (1) current use basis, plus (2) intend to use basis. Generally speaking, if not even a single item is selected in any of the sub-groups (preceded by 4 digit number), then that sub-group may be opened for application by others using a same or similar mark.

Upon registration, the scope of the exclusive right granted by the registration is limited by the ambit of the specified goods and services.

 

Convention Priority

If the client has filed an application in another WTO or Paris Convention country within the last half year, then there is a choice of treating the effective filing date in China to be the same as the date of the earlier application.

Priority claim is usually made when the China application is part of a coordinated world-wide filing exercise, or when a search reveals that a recent application of a third party may be surpassed by the priority claim, or if the client is concerned about possible competing third party application in China at around the same time.

 

Details Required

1. Full name, address and nationality of the trademark applicant.
2. Selection of goods items and/or services items to form the specification.
3. Logo or stylized mark in .jpg format.
4. Power of Attorney (no need of notary public nor legalization). 
5. Scan copy of the applicant’s passport or business registration certificate. 

 

 

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