Trademark Filing in China

A Trademark registered in India will not protect your trademark in a foreign country. Trademarks are territorial, its protection valid only within the borders of the territory/country where they are obtained registration. Therefore, Trademarks are valid only in the country where it has been recorded and is not valid in other countries or worldwide by default. However, you can file for registration separately in individual countries.

Below is the procedure for filing Trademark in China:

Trademark registration in China

The 1st step for Registering Trademark in China is to SEARCH (same as that of India) and the search can be made for checking the availability of Trademark in China on CTMO’s (China Trademark Office) official website.
Services you can also use on the website are:
a. Searching for similar trademarks
b. Get complete information about different trademarks
c. The status of different applications
d. Public announcements
It is legal with updated informative trademark database.

It involves the filing of Application for Trademark Registration on the official website of China i.e., CTMO. The Form includes the same details as that of Indian Application form for Trademark Filing like: Details of the Applicant, Trademark, Class, goods/ services description (as per the China Nice system for classification of mark which has 45 class in total which are further divided into various subclasses of which 34 classes for goods and 11 for services, can be checked on the official portal of China mentioned above) and amount to be paid for Filing the application is an official fee of RMB 800 (Chinese Yuan) Indian Currency is Rs. 8,000 per application covering 10 goods/services. If the number of goods/services exceeds 10 in one application, an additional fee of RMB 100 is charged for each of them.

After filing the application for the Trademark registration the next step is the examination which is conducted to verify that whether it complies with all the legal requirements for the registration (for instance, whether your marks fall into a category which is excluded from registration on absolute grounds and whether your mark is in conflict with any prior mark on the Trade Marks Register in the relevant or related classes).
In China, CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration) is responsible to handle the applications of trademarks.
1. CNIPA reviews the application and confirms whether you can proceed or if additional documents are required.
2. CNIPA starts a thorough process to register the trademark which normally takes 6 months.
3. Approves and issues the trademark which takes generally 2 months when the above process is finished.
4. You will receive a certificate of approval within 2 additional months.

After filing the Application for registration it will go through the following 3 stages in China:
• A formal examination where the CTMO verifies that the trademark file is complete and the corresponding fees have been paid.
• A substantial examination, where the examiner verifies that all the other requirements, absolute grounds (legality, non-functionality, distinctiveness) and relative grounds (availability), are met. Once the trademark has passed this examination, the trademark is preliminarily approved for registration.
• Publication in the official trademark gazette, the publication date marks the start of a three month period during which third parties may file an opposition with the CTMO. If no opposition is filed (or if an opposition is filed but fails), the trademark is registered and the period of validity of the trademark (10 years) starts at the end of the 3 months opposition period and can be renewed from time to time after paying the prescribed renewal fees.

The time taken for the registration of a trademark in China, from the filing date to the issuance of the certificate, is about 12 to 16 months for a smooth application. The time will be longer in case any objection to your mark is been raised on absolute and/or relative grounds or if application opposed by the 3rd Party.

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