To save your product idea and brand image, money spent on filing trademark registration is a wise decision. Although the process of trademark registration in China is a bit time-taking, the protection and security it offers to your company are simply unparalleled. Even before your trademark is approved, pending process could also deter counterfeiters to imitate your valued brand.
Unlike the United States and other European countries, in China there is no prior-use or intent-to-use requirement needed before registering a trademark nor are common law rights recognized. China recognizes a “first to file” system, which generally means that the trademark right belongs to the first person who properly registers the mark in China. In other words, any party, whether or not it intends to use the mark in the stream of commerce, may register a trademark in China.
CTPLO for Protecting Intellectual Property
It is strongly recommended seeking the advice of the China Trademark and Patent Law Office (CTPLO). The CTPLO aims in offering a fast and highly-responsive service along with the value-driven bilingual legal services to the foreign businesses. The success rate of the self-filed trademark registration is very low as the registering process is quite complex in China. The attorneys of the trademark and patent law office in China can assist you correctly on the trademark filing method.
Word Mark Registration in China
China permits the filing of a wide range of marks, including sounds, 3D marks and color combinations. But the vast majority of applications are either word marks, logos or a combination of both. In China, it is generally preferable to register all word marks separately from logos, as this will ensure a wider scope of protection for each element. There are many pitfalls you need to avoid when registering a word mark, it’s also important that you know about the process when registering one.
The Renewal Period of Trademark In China
A trademark in China is valid for ten years from the date of registration. A request to renew the registration must be filed within twelve months prior to the date of expiration. A grace period of six months is allowed by paying a corresponding surcharge. A trademark may be renewed each time for a period of ten years.
Registering your trademark protects it from anyone that attempts to profit from your marketing and product development. Obtaining a registered trademark for your brand’s IP will allow you to use the registered trademark symbol “®” in the name, logo, designs, slogans, and any words associated with your brand.
China has had specialist IP tribunals in the Chinese courts to deal with patent (and other IP-related) cases. Since 2014, three specialized IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou hear all first instance IP matters in these regions. These courts include judges with IP training and background to facilitate the proceedings.