Trademark Registration in .

China Trademarks are essential in today’s world and business markets. Competition is cut-throat and if your business slacks behind for even an instance, it can prove to be deadly. China is one of the biggest manufacturing countries in the world and that brings greater rivalry.

No matter where you are operating from, it is always a good idea to get yourself a China trademark. There are different procedures in different countries to get your business a trademark.

In China, there is a first to file system, which means that anyone who files the trademark application first, becomes the owner of the trademark if the registration is approved and thus has the rights to use the trademark exclusively and can market and sell the product under the trademark, according to this source.

The main purpose of getting a trademark is to protect the brand against counterfeiting. If the brand ignores getting a trademark, it risks its brand image as other manufacturers will start making replicas and sell fake products under the brand’s name.

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Trademark registration services in China

Trademark applications in China have certain requirements that have to be met first in order to get the approval, as set by the China Trademark Office (CMTO).

These include:

  • The trademark must not be in use by someone else;
  • Should have an element of differentiation; not same as already registered trademarks;
  • Trademark should not describe the good or service provided by the business;
  • Trademark should not have a negative connotation.

If these conditions are met, it is likely that your trademark will be approved.

How to register a trademark in China?

Step 1

Checking availability

There are different bodies that an applicant can use to send an application to register their trademark. The registration can be done either directly at the China Trademark Office or through an application on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) forum.

The application and registration both depend on whether you were first to apply. If there is an application prior to yours, that application and trademark will be approved.

Step 1

Step 2

Sub classes for products and services

China, like other countries, follows Nice Classification (NCL) that is established by the Nice Agreement. These classifications are further divided and segmented into subclasses in China. In order to properly understand the coverage and know under which classes the trademark falls, it is important to carefully study them before filing for registration.

Step 2

Step 3

Trademark Translation in Chinese

When registering trademarks in Chinese using Roman, there is always a risk of ambiguity. The Chinese meaning of the trademark in Roman can have a different meaning than what it was meant to have; thus, it is always a good idea to invest in bringing up the Chinese version of the trademark in Chinese characters. Even though this is a tricky and difficult thing to do, it prevents business exploitation by competitors.

Some companies use phonetic translations for their name. This means that the Chinese name they use is similar sounding to their English name. This is useful for companies whose name have a positive meaning in Chinese.

Businesses can choose not to get a Chinese trademark, but the problem with that is that the local people might start to translate the name from English to Chinese – creating discrepancies. A famous example is of Ralph Lauren; because of not having a Chinese trademark, the local people started calling it ‘San Jiao Ma’ which translates to ‘three-legged horse’.

Step 3

Step 4

Documents Submision

In order to file an application, the brand or company has to produce relevant documents that are needed by the concerned authority. In China, managing the entire trademark registration process lies in the responsibility of National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).

It is always advisable to cross check the documents before submission. In case of an error in the documents, the application might be rejected, further delaying the process.

Here’s the list of documents you need to register a trademark in China:

Trademark Registration by Company:

  • 1x copy of the company’s certificate of incorporation
  • Company name and address in both English and Chinese
  • Signature by company’s director
  • Print and digital version of proposed trademark (6 originals in print, size: between 5cm*5cm and 10cm*10cm)
  • Category of the proposed trade mark (and choose 10 sub-categories)

Trademark Registration by Individual applicant:

  • 1 x copy of the passport of applicant
  • Mailing address in both English and Chinese.
  • Signature by the applicant
  • Print and digital version of proposed trademark (6 originals in print, size: between 5cm*5cm and 10cm*10cm)
  • Category of the proposed trade mark (and choose 10 sub-categories)
Step 4

Step 5

Verification plus approval

CNIPA verifies each document after careful consideration and asks for further documents, if needed. Once all the documents are submitted and verified, the process for registering the trademark begins.

Step 5

Step 6

Issuance of Trademark

After all the approval is done, CNIPA brings the announcement to the public interest. This usually takes some months and during that time, anyone can make a legal objection against the trademark.

Step 6

Step 7

Trademark Certificate

The certificate of approval is given to the applicants subject to zero objections against the trademark announcement.

It usually takes around 10-13 months for the applicants to receive the trademark certificate.

Step 7
Price of Trademarks

Trademark registration cost in China

  • The fee for registration varies with respect to the classes the trademark falls under. The basic cost for class 1, 10 sub-categories is $1000. This is inclusive of legal fees.
  • Trademark availability check costs $150
  • If the applicant registers individually, they have to pay $100 as Government fees. If the applicant uses the services of an agent, this fee is mostly included in the package the agent offers.
Age of Trademarks

How long does the Chinese trademark last?

Usually the trademark registrations last for about 10 years, both national and international. If you wish to renew your trademark, you need to apply for a renewal at least 6-8 months before the expiration. Once that is done, your trademark will be renewed for additional 10 years.

If you fail to apply for a renewal and the trademark expires, you would have to go through the entire process of registration again to get your trademark registered, though this time the duration might be less than before because the documents were already submitted once before and should be in the system already.

The authority might just ask for additional documents rather than all the paperwork. This is a risky situation for the business because from the time your trademark expires to its renewal, competitors can use your trademark and get it registered. If that happens, you might lose your trademark and business.

Considering everything, it becomes necessary for businesses to get a trademark registered to protect themselves from the competition.

At Trademark International, we provide hassle-free trademark registration services catered to your needs, in compliance with the international requirements and standards. Chinese trademark registration doesn’t have to be complicated, and that’s why Trademark International is here to assist with all of your intellectual property needs.

What to do?  How to do it?  When to do it?  Will it work?

If these are the questions that come to your mind when thinking of registering a trademark, you have come to the right place. We, at Trademark International, answer these questions and more! Offering multiple trademark services, we guarantee client satisfaction. For expert advice and consultation, contact us now!

Frequently Asked Questions

The process for registering a trademark varies from country to country. To file for a trademark in the US, you can file an online application with the USPTO. The USPTO entertains two types of applications: ‘In-use’ and ‘Intent to use’. The online application is known as Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).

Just like every country has its own registration process, the cost varies as well. Depending on the legal fees and the length of the process, the cost can go up or down. In the US, the price of registering a trademark ranges from $500 to $3000.

You need to file an application which should contain: your name and address, if it’s a business then the type of legal entity it is, details of the trademark, list of goods and services, the details of the class(es). 

Yes, you can file for both: a local and an international trademark. Some countries entertain a single application to register a trademark locally as well as internationally. 

Yes. It is possible to register a trademark in multiple countries with a single application but it depends on which union the country is part of. You can do this through the Madrid Protocol or EUIPO. 

Countries have different laws regarding what can be registered as a trademark. In the US, the types of trademarks that can be registered are slogans, shapes, names, phrases words, images, 3D shapes, holograms, smells, and colors.