Trademark Registration And Search In China

China is one of the leading countries in economies and one of the largest and most attractive markets for businesses and entrepreneurs. In such a huge and diverse market it’s so essential for businesses to protect their brand’s intellectual property.

In this blog post, we will delve into the basics of trademark registration and search in China why it’s important for businesses to conduct a trademark search in China, and which marks will obstruct the trademark application.

Overview Of Trademark Registration And Search In China

China has become a key player in the global economy and businesses around the world. China adopts the first-to-file principle for trademark applications, this may result in someone having the trademark rights earlier than the real owner of the trademark. which has made trademark registration in china a crucial step in any business plan so they can secure their exclusive rights to use certain logos or brands in China. 

China’s trademark registration process is governed by the China Trademark Office “ CTMO” and it might be a complex process that requires comprehensive search steps as there are millions of trademark applications filed in China every year. 

The main grounds for application refusal are similar or identical trademarks. So conducting a comprehensive trademark search will help you avoid the risk of being refused and significantly increase the success rate of registering trademarks.

Businesses can submit their application to China Trademark Office after the trademark search is finished and the trademark is approved for registration. They must make sure they meet all the requirements outlined by the China Trademark Office because the procedure might take anywhere between 6 and 12 months to complete. If any issues were found, businesses can work with experienced agencies in trademarks to resolve them.

It’s crucial for any business to understand research processes and requirements to ensure that its trademark is registered correctly and also, that the trademark registration process in china is different from the other countries.

The Process Of Trademark Search In China

Trademark registration in china starts with conducting a trademark search to ensure that your mark is not already existed or that you are infringing someone else rights. Once the process of a trademark search is done then your trademark is ready to be registered.

Before conducting trademark research, it’s highly recommended to prepare a list of keywords that best describe your service or product. Similar words and unconventional spelling should be included in the list to ensure a comprehensive search. 

The trademark search in china is performed through an online database provided by  CNIPA that can be accessed in Chinese and English language. This database contains all information about trademarks that are already registered or their application still under examination.

Conducting a simple google search for the trademark to see if it’s protected under any law even if it’s not registered will also help. Take into consideration that the Chinese language is based on a pictographic-ideographic system, which makes it difficult for people from other countries to conduct a Chinese trademark search. 

A database trademark search simply reveals the obvious probabilities of conflicts with identical marks, but it does not guarantee the proposed trademark’s registration. When the Status field says “Not updated yet” or “No result,” it is not always the most recent information from the government, because a monthly database upgrade is required. 

Understanding the whole process of trademark search in china is very important for business owners who want to make sure that their trademark is unique and can be trademarked so they can protect their brand in the Chinese market.

Before submitting an application, It’s so important to hire a professional intellectual property agency to avoid infringement consequences and to avoid the marks that might obstruct your application. 

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How Can You Tell Which Trademark Will Obstruct Your Application?

China National Intellectual Property Administration “ CNIPA” use a classification table that is featured unique rules and items. Each main international class is subdivided into sub-classes that include Chinese services or goods into each sub-class. Generally, there are four types of trademarks that may obstruct your application:

  1. Same / Similar trademark in the same subclass.
  2. Same / Similar in different classes/subclasses, which refers to cross-search rules with another class/subclass.

You may find similar trademarks exist in one class but don’t be surprised if your application got refused. To determine if there is an existing trademark that will obstruct your registration, you can follow these steps:

  1. First of all, you need to check the corresponding sub-classes for your goods or services by contacting a bilingual Chinese classification table with subclass numbers.
  2. Input your trademark in the State Intellectual Property Office’s Trademark Search System “SISTM” 
  3. After clicking search you will get a full list that you will need to screen to check for any similar trademark in the same subclass.
  4. If there is no similar trademark, you can proceed to the next step which requires high skills. This step includes comparing trademarks in the list based on meaning, pronunciation, appearance, and meaning.

Hiring a trusted agency with experience in trademark similarity cases and knowledge about cross-search rules is so crucial while trademark search in china as it can help get an evaluation report of your trademark registration and can offer you an alternative solution if the possibility of registration is low.

How Much Does A Trademark Registration In China Cost?

China’s trademark office charges a fee for trademark registration. If you will register a trademark for 10 items under trademark class you will charge 3000 CNY and an additional 30 CNY for each additional item.

The trademark registration fee under each class will be determined separately if you want to register a trademark for items that fall under a different class.

Consult With An Intellectual Property Attorney To Learn More About Trademark Registration And Search In China

Filing a trademark application can be complex and time-consuming, and navigating the Chinese trademark system and laws can be challenging for those unfamiliar with it. That’s why it’s essential to consult an IP agency to learn more about trademark registration and search in China .

Baianat IP incorporates a trademark department to help you with every aspect of the process, from conducting a comprehensive trademark search to preparing and filing your application, responding to any office actions, and obtaining your trademark registration. 

Moreover, developing a robust and effective brand protection strategy and offering comprehensive legal advice throughout the process and protecting your trademarks from infringement and other types of unauthorized use. Please get in touch with us if you want to learn everything about availability, comparable marks, and the most recent details before you submit an application.

Learn more about trademark registration and search in China by reading our recent articles on topics such as

  1. Protecting Your Intellectual Property In China 2023 guide
  2. What do you need to know about the patent in china?
  3. Are You Searching For The Best Intellectual Property Lawyer around you?

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