China Trade Mark Service – Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual property rights infringement is a problem in China. Its an issue for companies who are selling their products into China. Some companies have had to pay large sums of money to Chinese speculators who have registered their company name and then sold it to these companies. This act is not illegal in China.
It is, therefore, vital to register your intellectual property and trademark in China. The registration process for a trademark application in China can take up to 18 months. Trademarks are only be protected once the application has been approved. Companies should conduct due diligence to see if similar trademarks are registered. Current trademarks can be researched at the China Trademark Office’s official database.
China is also a signatory to several international intellectual property (IP) treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
TCI China’s Trademark Application Process
Stage 1 Client contacts TCI China to request its Trademark Service
Stage 2 Client provides trademark names, logos, and product background information for the names they are interested in applying to have trademarked.
Stage 3 You issue payment to TCI China to conduct Trademark Name Research.
Stage 4 TCI China researches Trademark Names and logos availability in China.
Stage 5 A Report on available trade names is issued.
Stage 6 Client selects, if applicable, an available trademark name.
Stage 7 Client provides supporting documentation for application:
Company owner name and passport
Stage 8 Documents translated into Chinese by TCI China.
Stage 9 TCI China Trademark Name Registration application is prepared for the title, the product classification, and the trademark classification.
Stage 10 TCI China applies to the China Trademark Registration Bureau (CTRB).
Stage 11 CTRB 3 Stage Approval Process. (circa 17 months):
Stage.1 (+3 months post application) – CTRB provide initial approval/ rejection feedback.
Stage.2 (+12 months post-application) – CTRB provides 2nd round approval/ rejection feedback.
Stage.3 (+17 Months post-application) – CTRB issues a certification or rejects the application.
**Note the Certification is usually valid for ten years**
Stage 12 (Optional) Register Trademark with Chinese Customs
TCI China advises that companies also register their Trademark with Chinese customs; this will prevent and halt any movement of illegally branded products moving through Chinese ports.
**Key Trademark Information for China**
- China works under a first to file system, meaning the first person to register an IP right there will own that right when granted.
- It is essential to register your rights in China to be able to defend and enforce them.
- It is challenging to register trademark names that primarily contain location names or product names.
- If you discover that a third party has pre-registered your trademark name, it is crucial to seek legal advice and guidance immediately.