Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does having a registered trademark in China give me any right?
Registration is required in order to obtain trademark rights. The “first to file” rule is applicable in China.
2.What are the grounds for a Trademark Application to be opposed?
Yes. A trademark application can be opposed on the following grounds:
Absolute grounds (ex. descriptiveness)
Breach of copyright
Rights of notorious marks
Rights in a company name
Rights in a personal name
Rights in a registered design
Unauthorized use of protected of insignia or emblems
Any reasonable grounds
3.Who can contest my trademark application?
Any interested parties may oppose a trademark application. This includes the owner of an earlier right, a licensee, or anyone.
4.Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?
The average time frame for the registration approval is 15 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.
5.If I register my trademark in China, do I have protection in other territories?
No. A registered mark is protected only in Mainland China.
6.Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?
Yes. A signed power of attorney is necessary.
7.Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?
The benefits from a pre-filing use are minimal since rights are obtained via registration. However, the applicant can use this to demonstrate the mark’s distinctiveness and overcome oppositions on the ground of non-distinctiveness.
8.A trademark application in China has 3 phases:
Examination / Publication / Registration.
9.What type of trademark is not registrable?
The following marks are prohibited from registration.
10.Marks that are against the moral standards or public order of China？
Generic words or terms Symbol, flag, or name of a state, nation, region, or an international organization Marks that lack distinctive qualities Marks that are used primarily to indicate a geographical location name Marks that may mislead consumers.
11.Does China use the "Nice Classification" system?
Yes. China uses the system of Nice Classification.
12.Does the Community Trademark apply for China?
No. Community Trademark does not apply for China.
13.Is there any possibility to claim priority in China?
Yes. Applicants may claim priority application if the following conditions are met.
14.If the applicant’s home country is a member of the Paris Convention？
If the date of the home application is within 6 months prior to the filing of an application in China.If the applicant’s home country is a member of the World Trade Organization If an international registration can be based on this registration.
15.Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?
The registered mark is valid for 10 years.
16.What will be the renewal date of my trademark?
The first renewal of the trademark will take place 10 years after the date of registration grant.
17.Should I file my trademark in local characters?
Yes, for a broader and stronger protection in China, we recommend registering your trademark in local characters.
If the trademark is registered only in its original version (Latin characters), the protection does not always properly protect its equivalent in the local language. This means that a third party could use or register the same trademark (or a similar one) in local characters.
In additional to the legal benefits, the registration and use of the trademark in local characters can also have commercial benefits. The public in China will recognize your brand more easily if they are able to read and correctly pronounce the mark.
Registering your trademark in its original version, as well as local transliteration/translation, will provide a greater protection from any possible infringements.