Something You Need to Know about China Trademark Registration

The behaviors of copycat are widely existed in current market, such as “the free-riding against the well-known brand names” and “the imitation of famous brand-name”. The existing of copycat not only disrupted the market order, but also brought the economic and reputation cost for many consumers and enterprises due to its quality issues. Especially in manufacturing countries like China, an enterprise can be widely accepted by majority relying on the important role of trademark. Enterprises registered trademark needs to be approved by the China Trademark Office, the applicant can obtain the exclusive rights of the trademark.


In accordance with the provisions of “China Trademark Law”, non – Chinese people can register trademarks in China can gain their trademark rights in accordance with the law protected by Chinese law. In recent years, due to China’s rapid economic development and the magnetic properties of the Chinese market, the number of registered trademarks in China by foreigners is also on the rise. According to statistical data of Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the trademark applications were more than 154,000 registered by foreigners by the end of 2010, the registration amount was far more than the Chinese enterprises in overseas trademark application. Only in the year of 2010, foreigners have submitted 98727 trademark applications in China. Obviously, applying for trademark protection for their own brands in China has been attached more and more the attention from the global enterprises.


Those enterprises wish to register trademarks in China, they need to understand and be familiar with the rules and precautions of Chinese trademarks, to avoid the lack of specificity in the registration process as well as the cost waste for individual or enterprises due to the blind registration.


Rules you need to know for China Trademark Application:

  1. Where two or more applicants apply for registration of identical or similar Trademark for the same or similar merchandises, the trademark will be given to which preliminary approval, after examination, is obtained and to which the announcement of the application therefore is made first. Where applications are filed on the same day, the trademark will be given to which preliminary approval, after examination, and to which the announcement of the use thereof is made first. The dismissal of the applications of the Trademark by others will not be announced.
  2. Any person may, within 3 months from the date of the announcement, file an opposition against the trademark that has, after examination, been preliminarily approved. If no opposition has been filed after the expiration of the announcement period, the registration will be approved and the trademark will be issued a certificate of trademark registration and announced. Where an application for trademark registration is dismissed and trademark will not be announced, the Trademark Office will notify the trademark registration applicant in writing.
  3. If the trademark registration applicant refuses to accept the dismissal, he may apply to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board for review within 15 days from the day on which the notification is received, and the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board will decide and notify the applicant in writing.


Moreover, you can enjoy the right of Priority of China Trademark Registration meet following requirement:

  1. Where an applicant applies for registration in China of the same trademark for the same merchandises within 6 months from the day on which it first filed an application for registration of the same in a foreign country, he may enjoy the right of priority in accordance with any agreement entered into between that foreign country and China or any international treaty to which both countries are parties, or according to the principle of mutual acknowledgement of the right of priority.
  2. Where a trademark is used for the first time on the merchandises displayed at any international exhibition sponsored or acknowledged by the Chinese Government, the applicant applying for registration of that trademark may enjoy the right of priority within 6 months from the day on which the said merchandises are displayed.
  3. Any applicant requesting for the right of priority shall file a written declaration when submitting its application for trademark registration, and shall provide copies of the application documents submitted when it first filed the registration application for the trademark or the name of the exhibition at which its merchandises are displayed, the evidence proving that the said trademark is used on the displayed merchandises and supporting documents for the date of exhibition within 3 months; the applicants who fail to file written declarations or provide copies of the application documents for trademark registration within the prescribed time limit shall be regarded as not having request for the right of priority.

Foreign Enterprises How to Register Chinese Trademark

With booming economy and huge consuming and manufacturing markets, China has great appeal to global investors and enterprises. Therefore, entering into Chinese market has become one of the goals for many enterprises, especially the multinational enterprises. Meanwhile, the brand strategy to develop trademark registration in china is also favored by the many famous enterprises.


The International Classification of Goods and Services of China trademark registration is a total of 45 categories, in which there are 34 categories for goods and 11 categories for services. Designated trademarks used on merchandise are product trademarks, and designated trademarks used on the service are service trademarks which means any person or business or other organization used trademarks for its production, manufacture, processing, selection or distribution of goods or services provided need to obtain trademark rights. They can apply for an application for registration to the State administration for Industry and Commerce.


The required documents of applying for register your trademark in China:

  1. Stamped official seal on the application;
  2. Authorization of agency on behave;
  3. Copies of business license / ID card of natural persons (the copies should be complete, the writing should be clear.)
  4. Other proving evidences (such as: the “legalization” of trademark portrait, collective, certification of trademark.)
  5. Logos should be clear in pattern, the length and width of specifications should be not less than 5 cm and not longer than 10 cm; If specify a color, the pattern color should be attached , cross coloring pattern together with the black and white drawings.


Specific requirements for trademark application:

1、According to the provisions of Article 15 of “Regulations for the Implementation of the Trademark Law”, trademark application for registration and other relevant documents shall be typed or printed. Trademark Office shall not accept handwritten applications for trademarks;

2、The applicant’s name and address of trademark registration to be filled in documents should be in accordance with the subject qualification. If the principal qualification did not have detailed information of the enterprise is located, the applicant should remark before completing its address in detail. On behalf of the applicant’s official seal should be exactly the same with the name of registered business on file of subject qualification;

3、The project of goods or services should be completed in accordance with the “goods and services classification list” or “similar goods and services distinguish Table” to fill canonical name of an application. One application can only fill in a category of goods or services. Trade names or service items are not included in the classification, which shall be attached to a description of goods or services.

4、Completing the application for trademark registration, you should indicate clearly the collective marks, certification trademarks, three-dimensional marks, color marks as well as other information.

5、Please check the application carefully before submitting the application, which can’t be altered after submission. The applicant, goods or services and logos can’t be replaced as well.

In addition, the applicant needs to provide other relevant information in accordance with the relevant provisions of the China Trademark Office. It is noteworthy that, foreigners or foreign enterprises in China for trademark registration must entrust a trademark agency agent, except for those habitual residence or business by foreigners or foreign enterprises in China.


Trademark can be considered as an important part of a business. It is an intangible asset but despite of this, many businesses pay enough attention on this kind of asset. This is because any kind of asset brings economic benefits to a certain company and having a trademark is really beneficial.

One of the benefits of having a trademark registered is that one’s product can be properly protected. Infringement and fraudulent acts can be avoided when you are able to register your trademark. Another significant benefit is that one can gain goodwill or popularity to customers. An established trademark can facilitate on gaining popularity although this might take time.

Because of the importance of trademark, one must be able to protect it from infringement and other similar acts. One can do this by registering the trademark of your business. Although most of the registered trademarks are owned by businesses, trademarks can also be owned by individual.

In a country like China which has a fast growing economy, a lot of trademarks are being registered. For this reason, one must have the necessary information with regards to trademark registration in China.

The first step on doing so is to prepare all the necessary documents. These include a copy of current Business Registration Certificate of the applicant (if the applicant is a corporation) or a copy of Identification documents of the applicant (if the applicant is an individual person), a list of goods or services and a clear image of the trademark. Having all of these documents is very important on registering one’s trademark and one shall make sure to provide all of these documents.

The application for obtaining a trademark in China is relatively similar compare to other countries. One of the similarities is that the trademark being registered shall not be in conflict or similar to an existing trademark.

In China, there is a database for all the registered trademarks. This is to facilitate better accumulation of data and even easier registration of trademarks in China. When one is applying for a trademark registration, there is a preliminary screening and this may take a three month period which is applied for objections. If there are no objections within the time allotted, the trademark is registered.


CHINA  TRADEMARK In an established company, they do account for the properties, equipments, cash and receivables they have. Notice that they are all tangible and the benefits the stakeholder could derive can also be touched and seen.
However, assets which are intangible should also be given importance. For example is the trademark. As defined in the accounting world, trademark is a symbol, sign, slogan or name used to mark a product to distinguish it from other products. This is market-related intangible asset. Your company or your product gains popularity and acceptance with the help of trademark. Also, the characteristics and specifications of your product are protected by having trademark.
In China, lots of products have been introduced. Lots of names have been used and lots of product definitions have been created. In applying for the registration of trademark, the following documents should be prepared:
• A copy of current Business Registration Certificate of the applicant, if the applicant is a corporation.
• A copy of Identification documents of the applicant, if the applicant is an individual person.
• List of goods or services.
• Clear image of the trademark.
In processing you application to obtain trademark, five steps would be performed. First is trademark search. Your proposed trademark would be tested if it is already existing or not. Next is the initial application. Third is substantive examination. Further tests would be done to assure that your trademark is unique from other existing names. Next is publication, if the proposed trademark has proven legality, non-functionality, and distinctiveness and conflicts no prior right. Last is the issuance of certificate.
Trademark is necessary, thus, a company must have it registered. Here are some other benefits your company could have if the trademark has been properly registered:
• Your product can be protected. It will be detected if other company are imitating your product and sells it at lower prices. The authority will inform you of such fraudulent act, thus, giving you more time to do the necessary steps to save your company.
•  Gaining popularity. Once you have an established trademark, customers will become conversant with the characteristics your product has. Trademark is not an expense. It is an investment that can give you more and more benefits as time goes by.
Trademark is an asset. May it be intangible or not, it can still give you economic benefits in the future time. Registration is just a single investment yet can help you be exposed to lesser risks and more rewards.

China Trademark Registration- The Registration Process

As soon as a business is established and the trademark designed, the next important step is to ensure that it has been registered so as to protect it. Below are steps to follow when it comes to registration of trademarks;-

Registration of trademark in China ensures that is it protected in China hence no other business entity can use it while in China. However, a foreign entity registering their trademark in China cannot claim infringement in instances that it is used by another Chinese company.

If a business is 100% sure they want to operate their business in China, they should ensure that they register their trademark in the inception of the business. With this the Chinese is able to withhold any counterfeit trademarked products from exports hence gives you a guarantee of protection.

You should be aware of the type of trademarks acceptable in China, the requirements of Chinese trademarks is similar to those governing other international countries such that it is mandatory to register all services, goods, certification marks as well as collective marks.

China like any other country has a database for all the registered trademarks at a central place, once a trademark is registered, it is printed and left for three weeks giving room for objection. If there is no objection in the stipulated period then the trademark automatically becomes registered. A Chinese trademark office has the power to object the trademark application and also an applicant is allowed to appeal for the same.

A trademark helps to protect the name of your company; a foreign company is fully protected by the Chinese government making it easier to carry out trade without any fear of another Chinese company stealing your trademark. In case there is any infringement of a company’s trademark then there are various actions to be taken against it.

      Once a trademark infringer is caught the next step is to file lawsuit against the person who has infringed the trademark to try and stop him from carrying out business using your trademark. The Chinese trademark laws are applicable for both Chinese companies and foreign company’s hence when such issues have been raised it is easier to get the ruling on your favor.

      This is a system that you can trust without any fear of bias, hence be assured that there is a conducive business environment for all foreigners who chose to invest in China and their rights are well protected.

China Trademark Registration Search

Before registration of a company’s trademark, it is important to first do a research to evaluate if it is in use by any other company. One can do it themselves or they can opt to hire a service provider that specializes on such matters. Here are tips on how to do it yourself

A simple search is one that entails searching for all the linking information that is related to the trademark or the trademark number, the name of the person doing the application and the content of the trademark.

One can also opt to carry out an advance search, this is able to give you similar characters of the trademark or the characters and helps to identify if they are identical in anyway or not especially if it is in relations to same goods.

A status search is one that involves checking the status of the trademark that you applied for and the workflow in respect to the trademark number.

After embarking on various research you will be able to identify if your trademark is in use by other companies or not and if you wish to hire the service of china trademark research, then it is important to be aware of their operating time, such as in Beijing these services are available between to 2.00 o’clock to 20.00 o’clock on a daily basis. The company is able to offer free advisory services that will help you in the venture of getting a copyright trademark hence be able to identify your products with the brand.

To acquire more on the trademark registration search it is recommended to go through the China trademark gazette that has been published by state of Administration for Commerce and Industry, this is to be used by the China trademark office and the Republic of China.

It is important to exhaust all means possible of ensuring that your trademark is unique, simple with no hidden meanings such that it is easy to pass on the relevant information you wish to. A trademark is a must have for every company hence it is important to hire the services of a qualified trademark in order to avoid loss of time that is used while researching if the trademark is in use or not by other companies.

After the research is done and your trademark turns out to be unique, then you can go ahead with your business without any fear of someone copy righting your trademark.


Process of China’s Patent Application

The patent is an abbreviation of the intellectual property right, China’s patent is national examination and approval authority under the Chinese Patent Law, granted the exclusive right to create an invention by the patent applicant within the stipulated time. Submitted a patent application does not mean that you get a patent in China, in violation of state law, public morality or detrimental to public interest invention creation can not apply for a patent, the relevant scientific discoveries, rules and methods of intelligence activities, the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, animal and plant varieties as well as physical obtained by means of nuclear transformation can not get patents.

China’s Patent Application Process

Applicant can submit a patent application by hand, mail and electronics. Among them, hand means applicant submit the application to the patent office window, the admissibility of the window of local patent agency; mail means that the applicant need to post the application information by China Post registered mail or EMS to the  Admissibility Department of State Intellectual Property office, the address is Jimen Bridge Western Tucheng Road 6, Haidian District, Beijing, please note that sent to non-admissibility of the department or any individual does not have the force of law; electronic application refers applicants fill in the online Electronic Patent Application System of User Registration Request Form, and sign Electronic Patent Application System of User Registration Agreement, and provide relevant identification.

Application Information

Generally, applicants for invention and utility model patents need to provide the requested books, brochures, abstract of the specification, drawings, claims book (which requires the scope of patent protection) and other information. The design patent need to provide a letter of request, pictures (not less than 3 * 8cm, nor larger than 15 * 22cm), and a brief description of the design. It should be noted that the patent application file must meet certain formal requirements, such as: A4 paper, using Chinese Simplified Chinese characters, in duplicate data, using standard forms, form-sided without scoring column writing, drawings with black ink and drawing tools to create the same kind of file page number written order.

Application Process

受理:Accept初审:First instance公告(发明专利):Announcement (invention patent) 实质审查(发明专利):Substantive examination (invention patent) 授权:Authorize

Under the premise of Fully comply with the documentation submitted by the applicant, and is accordance with commissioned, mailing, divisional provisions, patent examination and approval department will accept the patent application, and issued to the applicant acceptance notice. Notification of Acceptance records include: filing date, application number, inventions name, the name of the applicant, contact information, list of documents verified by the Patent Office. Among them, the date is different according to the application ways, the dates of handing and electronic application are the received date, the date of mail is the postmark date of sending. The application number is a sign of the patent application which has been officially accepted, including application the reign, category number and application serial number, such as:

申请年号:application the reign, 类别号:category number, 申请流水号:application serial number

Patent Principal-agent

According to the patent laws and regulations of China, the domestic units and individuals to apply or domestic units and individuals (as the first signature of the applicant) to apply with foreign countries or Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, can not entrust an agency jointly, but the following situations must entrust an agency:

There is no habitual residence or place of business of foreign units and individuals in China, including its joint application as the first signed by the applicant (foreign);

Units or individuals of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, including its joint application of the first signed by the applicant (foreign or ordinary);

Chinese entity or individual inventions completed in China to foreign patent applications (foreign).

Conpak Certified Accountants ( is a professional agency of intellectual property. We are an experienced agency from the Conpak customer feedback situation. We can make professional file write, it will save a lot of time and effort for the applicant. Therefore, it is recommended that applicant is best entrusted to the agency handling patent applications.

It is worth mentioning that the China’s patent authorization is followed the principle of first filed, that is, who apply first can get the patent. Therefore, Conpak remind the applicant to maximize the protection of intellectual achievements and should select appropriate timing of patent applications, avoid others first to apply.

Introduction of China’s Patent

Through legal channels to obtain patent protection for the created invention, is the key to the success of today’s businesses. Conpak Certified Public Accountants very understands of China’s patent system. We are happy to share with you the information about China’s patent type, expiration date, and priority.

Benefits of China’s Patent Application

As the created invention protected by the law, the patent has an important role to encourage innovation and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises. On the rights of people, the patent benefits include:

  • Prevent the loss of technological achievements;
  • Exclusive patented product sales market, to prevent commercial competition;
  • Improve the core competitiveness of enterprises;
  • Safeguard company’s legitimate rights and interests, to avoid infringement;
  • Increase the assessed value of assets, transfer, licensing, pledge for financial gain;
  • Enhance the image of the enterprises and their products;
  • Enjoy the preferential policies of the government revenue and export trade.

Types of China’s Patent

According to the patent laws and regulations of China, the types of China’s patent including inventions, utility models and designs. Invention refers to any new technical solution proposed product, a process or improvement; utility model refers to the shape of the product, structure, or their combination for new technical solutions proposed; design refers to product’s shape, pattern or combination of color and the shape, pattern made ​​by the combination of new design aesthetic feeling and is fit for industrial application. To obtain patents, inventions and utility models must possess novelty, inventiveness and practical, design is not the same and not similar with domestic and foreign publications published before the date of filing or domestic public appearance of design.

China’s Patent Distinction

China’s patent classification defined clearly, whether censorship or application process, there are many differences among inventions, utility models and design, please see the following table:

Differences of Invention, Utility model and Design



Utility model



Substantive examination

Form of review

Form of review

Application process








Strength of protection




China’s Patent Validity

The patent has the timing, that the patent is valid only within a certain period. The China’s patent is valid from the date of filing, the invention patent is valid for 20 years, utility model and design patents are valid for 10 years.


Priority of China’s Patent

China’s patent has priority. If the applicants first apply the same subject invention or utility model in China, the first date of a patent application within 12 months from the again patent application from the Patent Office of China’s State Intellectual Property Office, applicants can enjoy a national priority; if the applicants apply the same invention or utility model in a foreign country for the first time within 12 months from the date of patent application, or on the same design in foreign first 6 months from the date of patent application, then apply the patent in China, applications will have an international priority.

In addition, in order to encourage invention and innovation, the Chinese government establishes a special fund to support the China’s patent apply foreign patent, successful applicants will receive up to 10 million in grants. If you want to entrust an agency to apply for patents business or patent funding, please contact Conpak. We will provide you with professional services, and to develop a full range of intellectual property protection program.