The Importance of Registering a China Trademark

Applying for a China trademark is a crucial and important step that’s often ignored or overlooked by exporters. As we mentioned in previous blog, China is a “first-to-file” country which means that the person who registers a China trademark for a product. The China Trademark holder will also have all exclusive rights to distribute and sell the product. So, register your China trademark before anyone else.

Do & Don’t of Registering a China Trademark

(1) Combined Mark

If your logo is a “Combined Mark”, for example mark with design elements and text. For better protection, DO register for both the design and the words independently. Don’t register your “Combined Mark” as a whole.

So, what should you do?
Filing 2 Separate applications: One for logo design elements only or “Combined mark” as a whole; Another One for the text portion.

(2) Local Language

If your trademark is registered only in its original language for example Latin Characters. Then the third party or a Trademark Squatter may register your trademark or similar one in local characters. As you can see the mark protection doesn’t equivalent in the local language. So for better protection, DO register your Trademark in local language. And DON’T register your Trademark as its original.

So, what should you do?
Registering your trademark in its original version, as well as local transliteration/translation, will provide a greater protection from any possible infringements.

(3) Trademark Renewal

National trademark registration and international trademark registration are both valid for 10 years. However, you have to apply for a renewal at least 6 months before expiration. The Trademark will valid for additional 10 years. If you don’t renew your trademark registration in time, it will be canceled.

DO keep track of when your trademark will expire and renew it at least 6 months in advance.

What is the Process when registering?

1. Submit the application form and other relevant documents by yourself or China Trademark Agency. State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) is responsible to handle the applications of trademarks.
2. SAIC has a formality check. To reviews the application and confirms whether you can proceed or if you need to provide other additional information.
3. After the formality check, SAIC starts Substantive Examination which is a thoroughgoing process to register the China trademark. If there is no problem, the Preliminarily China Trademark approved and published. (Normally takes 1 year)
4. If there is no any other objection. China Trademark approves and issues the China trademark. (Generally, 2 months when the above process has finished)
5. You receive a certificate of approval. (Normally takes 2 additional months)

What should you do if your Trademark file is rejected?

During the registration process, SAIC may refuse your files or your competitor may opposite your registration. In fact, there is an appeal mechanism.

For the first reject, you can appeal one time. Then you have to provide with detailed content and explanation of the trademark application. Probably it takes 6 to 8months. However, if your Trademark gets reject again, you cannot appeal.

For further information, please contact us.