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China Promotes Reform to Facilitate Trademark Registration

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issued on 25 July a circular on promoting the reform to facilitate trademark registration across the country.

Applications for trademark registration have soared in the wake of growing trademark and brand awareness on the part of Chinese enterprises. A total of 1.74 million trademark applications were filed in the first half of this year, up 32.3% year-on-year. Every 7.2 market entities own a valid trademark in China at present.

With facilitation as its main goal, the present reform will focus on widening the application channels. SAIC will authorise its local offices to accept applications. Pilot reform will begin in Ya’an of Sichuan and Taizhou of Zhejiang this year, to be extended to other places eventually. Centres for trademark examination will be set up outside Beijing on a trial basis this year for the handling of trademark examination and other matters. More and more application acceptance points for the pledge registration of trademarks will also be set up across the mainland and online application will be promoted. Starting from next year, applicants may apply for trademark registration online, at their local application acceptance point, or at the registration hall of their local trademark office.

The reform will streamline the registration procedures and optimise the registration process. The time limit for the issuance of Notice of Acceptance of registration application will be shortened from about six months to three months and application dossier and procedures will be simplified.

The reform will also focus on improving the trademark examination mechanism and raising the efficiency of examination. The centres for trademark examination will increase the proportion of cases handled by a single officer to over 70% in 2016. Every effort will be made to shorten the examination time while ensuring the completion of trademark examination within the legal time limit of nine months.

In addition, the reform will also make use of big data, cloud computing and other means of information technology to strengthen trademark credit control. Information on trademark infringements and frauds, preemptive registrations, violations by trademark attorneys and other matters will be included in the credit information disclosure system, and more severe punishment will be meted out to acts of bad faith.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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