New draft standards for determining illegal trademark conduct of CNIPAAAA IPRIGHT2
In August 2021, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) issued Draft standards for determining general illegal trademark conduct (“商標一般違法判斷標準”). At the moment, these standards are still opened for public comments and the consultation on the draft standards will end on 1 October 2021.
Mainly bases on the Trademark Law and the Regulation on the Implementation of the Trademark Law, the Standard’s main goal is to strengthen operational guidance on trademark enforcement, unify enforcement standards and optimize the innovation environment and business environment.
Specifically, these standards aim to strengthen the administration of trademark use and to align enforcement standards, avoid any miscommunication between the trademark enforcement authorities when investigating and penalizing general illegal conduct.
New draft standards for determining illegal trademark conduct of CNIPA
The Standard presents comprehensive provisions on the definition, specific circumstances, and legal consequences of various types of general trademark violations, which may be listed as follows:
- Failure to use a registered mark on specific goods when it is required to use;
- The use of a prohibited sign as a trademark;
- The use of the words “well-known trademark” in commercial activities;
- Failure of a trademark licensee to mark his/her name and the origin of goods;
- Any unilateral change to registered trademarks and related information without approval;
- The use of an unregistered mark as a registered mark;
- Failure to perform duties to manage collective trademarks and certification trademarks;
- Failure to perform trademark printing management duties and applications for trademark registration in bad faith;
- Any other conduct that violates the discipline of trademark administration.
Furthermore, the CNIPA also gave a clear explanation on how such illegal conduct is determined:
- Cigarettes and cigars cannot be manufactured or distributed in China unless the respective trademarks are registered in China as required by law;
- The use of a trademark in China will be prohibited if that trademark contains meaning that is racially discriminatory, deceptive, or socially immoral.
- The background, consequences, user’s intent of the use of a “well-known trademark” in China will be considered when thoroughly investigating a reference to a “well-known trademark” in commerce.
- Any change to registered trademarks and related information without approval or basically, untimely will be considered to be an ‘illegal conduct.’
It remains to be seen whether the draft standards will be approved and officially taken effect. When that happens, there would be more space and time for authorities to fully clarify exactly the provisions of the new standards as they take trademark enforcement actions.
– 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.
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