How To Register Trademark in China?

How to register trademark in China

How To Register Trademark in China?

With the economic integration, in general, the law in China is more and more developed to meet the demand of national and even international individuals and organizations, especially in the intellectual property field. In fact, the increasing number of national and international trademark applications is filed in China. To create the best convenience for applicants to protect their trademark in China, they need to know and understand how to register Trademark in China.

How to register trademark in China

How to register trademark in China

What is trademark in China?

In China, the definition of a trademark is any signs to distinguish the goods or services of other individuals and organizations and such sign may be words; names; devices; certain three dimensional shapes; colors; slogans; trade dress/getup (only trade dress/getup with distinctive elements); combinations of the above elements. From that, a trademark want to be capable to be registered in China, it needs satisfy the following conditions: “ It is a visible sign; It is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person or entity from another”. Hence, when the owner wants their trademark registered and protected in China, their trademark needs meet the above conditions.

What is rule of trademark filing in China?

In China, similar with many countries like Laos, Cambodia, South Korea, Canada, Thailand, Vietnam, the EU, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, the rule “first to file” is applied, meaning that no matter the trademark is used in China, the person, who files a trademark registration application the first, shall have prior rights with that trademark. Therefore, using a trademark shall not be an evidence to prove that the owner have rights with that trademark.

What is advantage of trademark registration?

The trademark registration is not compulsory in China; however, registering trademark shall bring many advantages to the holder. Through the registration, individuals and organizations can prove easily that they are the owner of their trademark, which normally is difficult to collect evidences. Moreover, thanks this evidence, the holder can avoid infringement and use it to deter others from unlawfully using the trademark.  Even in case of that they do not carry out their trademark registration, in practice, they are able to lose rights for their trademark if another trademark, which is registered prior to their trademark, is the same with the trademark.

What is procedure of trademark registration in China?

+ Trademark Search

In the respect of registration procedures in China, to ensure safety for the holder’s trademark registration, before filling a trademark application, a trademark search is conducted to undertake that they have a good chance to register their trademark successfully. When having the result of searching their trademark, if their trademark is capable to be registered, the holder should carry out procedures of filling application as soon as possible.

+ Trademark filing in China

The approximate time frame for such registration is 12 months without an opposition. However, when the Trademark Office have published the application on gazette, others can file an opposition against the holder’s trademark until finishing the process of substantive examination. Then, after the trademark is registered successfully in China, the holder is granted a protection certificate and their trademark is protected within 10 years from the time of filling the application.

What is rights of trademark holder after successfully registering?

After the certificate is granted, the holder has rights to use their trademark, oppose the subsequent conflicting application, bring a cancellation action against a subsequent conflicting registration, sue for infringement against confusingly similar third party trademark use, license other third parties to use the trademark, apply for seizure by customs authorities for importation of counterfeit goods and obtain damages for infringement.[1]

When shall the trademark holders renew their trademark certificate in China?

Moreover, 6 months before the certificate is expired, the holder need to renew their trademark protection certificate and they can renew 2 times with 10 years per time. In case of that the holder fill renewable dossiers after the expired date, 6 months is a grace period for registration renewal, but they must endure a fine for the late time.

What is the use requirement of trademark after registration?

In China, the owner does not need to prove the use of their trademark, but the trademark must be used in practice. Others can request the owner to prove their use by giving evidences that the holder have done trading actions with their trademark such as advertising, establishing business locations and especially providing customers with their items/services. In case of that the trademark has not been used by its owner or the licensee of the owner without justifiable reason for three years, which is calculated by dating back three years from the date of receipt of “Application for Cancellation of Registered Trademark Not Having Been Used for Three Consecutive Years” by the Chinese Trademark Office, the effectiveness of the trademark shall be terminated.

What is the fee of trademark in China?


Scope of work: Trademark Search Word mark Device (logo) And/Or Word Mark($US)
For the 1st class 70.00 90.00
For the 2nd class 60.00 80.00
Duration 5-8 days


Scope of work: Filing Trademark Application To Trademark Registration Certificate FEE ($US)
For the 1st class 310.00
For the 2nd class 300.00
Duration 15-16 months

* Note: Our Fee for Trademark in China includes all fees (official fee and legal fee); exclude fee for responding to office action, if any.

– Trademark in China is limited for the first 10 items in each class. Each additional item from 10th upwards, the additional fee is $US17.00

What international treaties China is a member?

China have taken part in many international treaties Paris Convention; Singapore Treaty; Madrid Agreement; Madrid Protocol; Nice Agreement etc. Hence, beside the regulations of Chinese law, the law on Trademark in China is regulated by such Treaties. From that, international trademarks and national trademarks is protected better in China and even in other countries.

In conclusion, the law on Intellectual Property, especially on Trademark, is more and more enhanced to protect the rights and benefits of global and local individuals and organizations. However, the law still has many shortcomings and needs to be improved more to meet national and international requirements.

[1] China __ Country Guides Essential Information on Trademark Protection Worldwide

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

– You could visit here to check the required documents of filing trademark in China

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