China’s National Intellectual Property Administration Announces Rapid 20-Day Trademark Application Examination Program

Guidelines for Trademark Examination and Trial Elaborate on Malicious Trademark Applications

China’s National Intellectual Property Administration Announces Rapid 20-Day Trademark Application Examination Program

On January 18, 2022, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released the Measures for Rapid Examination of Trademark Applications (for Trial Implementation) that provides for examination of certain trademark applications within 20 days of approval of a request to participate. The Measures are effective immediately.

Measures for Rapid Examination of Trademark Applications

Per Article 2 of the Measures, trademark applications under the following circumstances are eligible:

(1) It involves the names of major national or provincial projects, major projects, major scientific and technological infrastructure, major events, major exhibitions, etc., and the protection of the trademark is urgent;

(2) During the period of public emergencies such as especially major natural disasters, especially major accident disasters, especially major public health incidents, and especially major social security incidents, it is directly related to the response to such public emergencies;

(3) In order to serve the high-quality economic and social development, it is indeed necessary to promote the implementation of the outline for building a strong intellectual property country;

(4) Others of great practical significance for safeguarding national interests, social public interests or major regional development strategies.

Per Article 3, the trademark application must meet the following conditions:

(1) Have the consent of all applicants;

(2) Apply electronically;

(3) The trademark applied for for registration consists only of words;

(4) The application is not for registration of collective trademarks and certification trademarks;

(5) The designated goods or service items are closely related to the situations listed in Article 2, and are the standard classes listed in the “Classification Table of Similar Goods and Services”;

(6) No priority claim has been made.

In addition, per Article 4, a recommendation from the relevant Chinese government department is needed. Accordingly, these measures may only be useful for foreign applicants applying via their Chinese branches.

China’s New Guidelines for Trademark Examination and Trial Elaborate on Malicious Trademark Applications

Before, China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released the Guidelines for Trademark Examination and Trial. The Guidelines, which are somewhat analogous to the US Patent & Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure, explains the Trademark Law’s Article 4, which states, in part, “malicious trademark registration applications that are not intended for use shall be rejected” by providing 10 factors to identify malicious applications.

The legal basis for rejecting malicious trademark applications comes from the Trademark Law and the Several Provisions on Regulating Trademark Registration Acts:

“Trademark Law

Article 4 Natural persons, legal persons or other organizations that need to obtain the exclusive right to use trademarks for their goods or services during production and business activities shall apply to the Trademark Office for trademark registration. Malicious trademark registration applications that are not intended for use shall be rejected.

“Several Provisions on Regulating Trademark Registration Acts”

Article 3 Applying for trademark registration shall follow the principle of good faith. The following behaviors are not allowed:

(1) It is a malicious application for trademark registration not for the purpose of use as stipulated in Article 4 of the Trademark Law;

Article 5, a trademark application for registration shall be refused in accordance with the law if the trademark registration department finds that it is a malicious trademark registration application that violates Article 4 of the Trademark Law and is not intended for use.

The trademark registration department must formulate precise inspection methods in line with the Trademark Law and the Trademark Law’s Implementing Regulations.

Article 8 When determining whether a trademark registration application is a violation of Article 4 of the Trademark Law, the trademark registration department may comprehensively consider the following factors:

(1) The number of registered trademarks applied for by the applicant or the natural person, legal person, or other organization with which it has an associated relationship, the type of designated use, the status of trademark transactions, etc.;

(2) The applicant’s industry, business status, etc.;

(3) Circumstances where the applicant has been found to have engaged in malicious registration of trademarks or infringed on the exclusive rights of other people’s registered trademarks by an effective administrative decision, ruling, or judicial decision;

(4) Circumstances where the trademark applied for registration is identical to or similar to others’ well-known trademarks;

(5) Circumstances where the trademark applied for registration is identical or similar to the name of a well-known person, company name, abbreviation of the company name, or other commercial signs;

(6) Other factors that the trademark registration department thinks should be considered.

***Other Articles***

– You could see How To Register Trademark in China here.

– You could visit here to see Procedure of Trademark in China.

– You could visit here to check Required documents of filing trademark in China.

Contact AAA IPRIGHT: Email: info@aaaipright.com

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