Trademark
Filing

 Power of Attorney

1. Is it necessary to be notarized or legalized?
Notarization or legalization of Power of Attorney is not required.

2. Can it be submitted after filing?
For most proceedings, a scanned copy of signed Power of Attorney is sufficient for the filing purpose. The original signed Power of Attorney may be submitted after the filing.

 Priority

1. Does the certified copy of the priority need to be filed with application?
If a Chinese application claims the priority of a foreign application, a certified copy of the foreign priority application document is required.

2. If the answer is yes, can it be filed after the application’s filing date? What time term is allowable?
A certified copy of the priority document can be filed upon filing the Chinese application or within 3 months from the Chinese filing date.

3. What is the necessary information for claiming priority?
For filing an application with claiming priority, the nationality, filing date and application number of the priority application are required.

Classification

1. Does the 10th edition of the Nice Classification apply in China?
Yes. The Examiners will also refer to the Classification Manual of Similar Goods/Services issued by the China Trademark Office (CTO) in accordance with the Nice Classification.

2. Are multi-class applications allowable?
Multi-class application is not allowable at present.

3. Is it necessary to limit the goods and/or services description or is the entire class headline allowable?
Specific description for goods and/or services is required for Chinese trademark filing. The description of the entire Class headlines is generally deemed as too general and unacceptable. Where the descriptions used in Class headlines are also standard goods/service items, they can be accepted.

Examination and Approval

1. Is there an examination for trademark registration in China?
Where a trademark the registration of which has been applied for is in conformity with the relevant provisional of the Chinese trademark Law, the CTO shall, after examination, preliminarily approve the trademark and publish it.

Where two or more applicants apply for the registration of identical or similar trademarks for same or similar goods/services, the preliminary approval and the publication shall be made for the trademark that was first filed. Where applications are filed on the same day, the preliminary approval and the publication shall be made for the trademark that was used the earliest, and the applications of the others shall be refused.

2. If an application is rejected, is there any chance to appeal? 
Where an application for registration of a trademark is refused, the CTO shall notify the applicant of the refusal in writing. If the applicant is dissatisfied, he or it may, within fifteen days from the receipt of the refusal notification, apply for a review to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB), which shall make a decision. If any party concerned is dissatisfied with the decision of the TRAB, he or it may, with thirty days from the receipt of the decision, institute legal proceedings with the People’s Court. 

Opposition

1. Is there an opposition process in China? If so, how does it work?
Once a trademark application is examined and preliminarily approved by the CTO, it will be published in the Official Trademark Gazette for opposition for a period of three months, during which any party may file an opposition against the approved application. If no opposition is filed, or if it is decided that the opposition is not justified, the regiatration shall be approved, and a certificate of trademark registration shall be issued.

Once an opposition is filed, the CTO shall hear both the oponent and the opposed state facts and grounds and shall make a ruling. Where any party concerned is dissatisfied, he or it may apply for a review to the TRAB, which shall make a decision and notify both the opponent and opposed in writing.  

Term for granting registration

1. What is the average time term for approval of trademark registration without any complications?
Generally, for a straight forward case, a trademark will be registered in about 12 to 24 months from the filing date.

Protection/Renewal

1. What is the protection period for a trademark in your country?
The period of validity of a registered trademark shall be ten years, counted from the date of approval of the registration. If the registrant intends to continue to use the registered trademark beyond the expiration of the period of validity, an application for renewal of the registration shall be made within six month before the expiration.  

2. Is there a grace period to file the renewal application?
Yes.

3. If the above answer is yes, what is the time of grace period?
The grace period for renewal application is six months after the expiration.

4. What are the necessary documents to file the renewal application?
An executed Power of Attorney is required.

5. Is it necessary to declare/prove use upon renewal?
No.

Requirements for Use

1. Is it necessary to use the trademark before and after registration?
Use of the trademark in China is not a prerequisite for trademark registration. However, after trademark registration, where the use of a registered mark has ceased for three consecutive years, it is vulnerable to non-use cancellation action. If such a cancellation action is filed, the registrant bears the burden of proof of actual use of the mark in Mainland China.

2. If this is the case, what time term is allowable to begin use?
Within three years after registration.



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