Trademark Registration

How Trademarks Work in China

Trademarks in China are generally awarded on a first come, first served basis, regardless of whether or not a company might be able to prove ownership over that trademark; if it has been registered in China by another entity prior to your registration it will quite possibly be rejected outright. If a registration happens on the same day only the application received first will be considered.

Due to the often prohibitively high cost of trademark infringement litigation, whether a company intends to do business in China today or at any point in the future, it is highly recommended that they register a trademark for each piece of IP as soon as possible. While it may seem like a far-off prospect today, cases in which foreign companies have their trademarks registered by third parties in China, even by partners such as suppliers domestically, are many. Registering your trademarks in China prevents both litigation wherein a company needs to reclaim they're infringed upon trademark, but also protects against litigation wherein other companies might file suit against your company for trademark infringement.

 

Trademarks in China can include any of the following:

  • Words
  • Design
  • Letters
  • Numerals
  • 3D Symbol
  • Combination of Colors
  • Or a combination thereof

They will represent goods or services provided by an individual, legal entity, or organization for a period of up to ten years, renewed six months prior to the expiry of the trademark registration.