China Trademark Registration and Intellectual Property Protection

  • Why should I have a trademark in China?
  • Does China have trademarks?
  • So, How does a china trademark registration last?
  • How to search if something is trademarked in China?
  • How to register a trademark in China?
  • So, what is China trademark squatting?
  • Does my trademark work and protect my brand in China?
  • So, Over to you…


IP Protection issues are now causing many firms who sell into or export from China many problems and headaches. Many ask if it is worth doing business with China because of these issues.

The fact you’ve typed a searched for this through your search engine and ended up on this blog means you’re probably looking for answers to IP protection and trademarks in China.

I’m not going to go too detailed in this blog. If you have any questions or need assistance with trademark and IP protection in China, contact me.

If you think about it, it makes sense, as many more countries offer better value than China.


Why should I have a trademark in China?

Because your company has spent a lot of time and money building up its brand name.

If you are selling to China, you might have spent a lot of time in China developing customers. These customers now recognize your brand and product. They trust this brand. Do you want someone to steal that?

If you are buying from China, do you want someone else in China to make the same branded product as sell it the same as you? They have not invested in marketing or customer development. Why should they get your customers for free?

Your brand and Intellectual properties are valuable assets. It would be best if you protected them with a trademark in China.


Does China have trademarks?

Yes, it does. China is also a signatory to several international intellectual property (IP) treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The agency responsible for Trademarks in China is called the China Trademark Registration Bureau (CTRB).

So, How long does a china trademark registration last?

It will typically last for 10 years. A registration is valid for ten years from the application date in most countries.

How to search if something is trademarked in China?

The first thing is to know what name and design you want to check. So, the next thing is to know what trademark category you wish to check the trademark.

You can then use a Trademark company such as TCI China to check your trademark at the China Trademark Registration Bureaus registrations.

So, how to register a trademark in China?

It takes about 18 months for the whole process to be completed. You require the services of a Trademark firm such as TCI China. The process is as follows:

  • You contact TCI China to request its China Trademark Service
  • For names you are interested in trademarking, provide names, logos, and product background information.
  • Names and logos are researched for trademark availability within China by TCI China.
  • TCI issues a report on available names which can be protected.
  • SO, you then select the name to protect.
  • Copies of a Business Licence and Owner ID are required for the Trademark application.
  • TCI prepares Chinese translated documents
  • TCI China submits the Name Registration application to the China Trademark Registration Bureau (CTRB).
  • Three months after the application, the CTRB advises on approval or rejection feedback.
  • 12 months after the application, the CTRB provides the 2nd round of approval or rejection feedback.
  • 18 months after application, the CTRB issues a certification or rejects the application.


So, what is china trademark squatting? 

Trade mark squatting in China occurs when a Chinese individual notices a foreign brand is online or in the shops and registers it as their “own” brand in China.

China operates a “First to File system,” meaning the first person to register a trade mark will own it.

It is complicated for a legitimate owner to claim it back, and most squatters will demand monetary compensation for signing over the trademark.

So, does my trade mark work and protect my brand in China?

Yes, it does, if you apply it correctly. But you always must keep monitoring the market in China.

So, one tip is to register your trade mark with the Customs in China. It will prevent exports out of China or fake products coming into China that contain your trademark.

For fake products in China, you must monitor markets any other areas where your products are sold to check for counterfeit products or sellers.

TCI China offers Trademark Protection and Monitoring services across China

So, Over to you…

So, If you are looking to register your trademark in China. Or, are looking to try and claim a trademark from a squatter in China, or need IP Monitoring services, please contact me. All our discussions will be in strict confidence.

I’m here to help you explore all your options.

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Or at the following numbers:

(Europe/ Rest of the World) +353 1 885 3919
(UK) +44.020.3287.2990
(North America) +1.518.290.6604

Or email me Aidan Conaty

Aidan Conaty | think China, think TCI