The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Laura Rose and Louisa Dixon of Taylor Vinters provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Protecting a trade mark in China ensures that a business can establish a brand and reputation in the world’s second largest economy. This helps a business to generate new customers and to make sure that no one else uses their name to sell their goods or services.
China operates a ‘first-to-file’ system. This means that the first business to file their trade mark application is entitled to register that trade mark. Practically speaking this means that a business may lose legal protection if an identical or similar trade mark has already been registered in China. As a result it is vital that a business registers their trade mark in China at the earliest available opportunity. Chinese law does provide grounds for opposing a trade mark application or invalidating a registered trade mark. However, being the first to file is always the cheapest and most efficient way to secure a trade mark.
It is possible to enforce trade mark rights without registration in China through unfair competition law. However, this can be a less effective means of enforcement when compared with having a registered trade mark right.
A trade mark can be registered in one of two ways in China, namely through either the ‘national’ or ‘international’ system.
National registration system
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