To register a trademark in China, an application for registration must be sent to the China Trademark Office (CTMO). It is important to seek professional guidance when seeking registration in China as the process is considered relatively complex without professional help from a consultancy firm or attorney.
Trademark registration in China
The CTMO is the intellectual property office responsible for receiving registration applications in China for those seeking exclusive rights over their mark. This IP office sets the requirements for all trademarks to meet in order to obtain approval and gain a registration certificate within the jurisdiction.
There are several requirements that a mark must satisfy before seeking registration from the CTMO.
Some of these requirements include:
- It must be available to use i.e. not registered or in use commercially.
- The mark must be unique and distinctive from other trademarks of third parties.
- A China trademark must be capable of graphical representation.
- The mark can be in the form of symbols, numerals, words, letters or designs, or a combination thereof.
- The trademark cannot be descriptive in nature.
- The owner of the mark must obtain representation from an authorized Chinese trademark company when seeking registration from the CTMO.
The Chinese Trademark Office administers and enforces the trademark law in China, and it is paramount that all marks registered under the CTMO comply with the applicable laws in place. Where non-compliance with laws occur, or where a mark has been misused, the owner may be prevented from renewing their rights once they expire. Only where a registered trademark has been used in a commercial capacity, and in accordance with the applicable standards and laws in place, can the rights over the mark be renewed.
A registered China trademark is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of registration, and is renewable every 10 years indefinitely.
Find out how Starting Business can assist you with your China Trademark.