You are here

Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China (2013)

( Adopted at the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the Fifth National People 's
Congress on August 23, 1982; amended for the first time according to the "Decision on the
Revision of the ‘Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China’" adopted at the 30th
Session of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People's Congress on
February 22, 1993; amended for the second time according to the "Decision on the Revision of the
‘Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China’" adopted at the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's' Congress on October 27 2001; amended for
the third time according to the "Decision on the Revision of the
‘Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China’" adopted at the 4th Session of the
Standing Committee of the twelfth National People's' Congress on August 30 2013 )

Examination and Acceptance for Registration of a Trademark

Article 28.  In respect of the application for registration of a trademark, the Trademark Office shall complete the examination therefor within nine months from the date of receiving the application documents, and accept and publish the same, where the application for registration of the trademark is in compliance with the relevant provisions of this Law.

Article 29.  In the procedure of examination, if the Trademark Office deems that explanation and amendments shall be made to an application for registration of trademark, it may require the applicant to make the explanation and amendments. If the applicant fails to make the explanation and amendments, no influence is made for the Trademark Office to make the decision.

Article 30.  Where an application for registration of a trademark is not in compliance with the relevant provisions of this Law, or if the trademark is identical with or similar to a trademark of another person that has been registered or accepted in respect of identical or similar goods, the Trademark Office shall refuse to accept the application and shall not publish the same.

Article 31.  Where two or more applicants apply for registration of identical or similar trademarks in respect of identical or similar goods, the application filed the earliest shall be accepted and published; if the applications are filed on the same day, the trademark which is used the earliest shall be accepted and published, and applications of other persons shall be refused and not be published.

Article 32.  An application for registration of a trademark shall not be of such a nature as to infringe the existing earlier right of another person. An application shall not be made with intent to register a trademark which is used by another person and enjoys certain reputation.

Article 33.  The prior right owner or any interested party may, within three months from the date of publication, files an opposition against an accepted and published application for registration of a trademark, if he finds that the application stands in violation of the provisions of Article 13, paragraph two or three, Article 15, Article 16, paragraph one, Article 30, Article 31 or Article 32 of this law, or any person finds that the application stands in violation with the provisions of Article 10, Article 11, or Article 12 of this law. If no opposition is filed within the specified period, the trademark shall be registered, a certificate of registration shall be issued, and the registration shall be published.

Article 34.  Where an application for registration of a trademark is refused and no publication is made, the Trademark Office shall notify the applicant of the same in writing. Where the applicant is dissatisfied, he may, within fifteen days from receipt of the notification, apply for review to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board. The Trademark Review and Adjudication Board shall make a decision within nine months from the receipt of the request for review and notify the applicant in writing. Where there are special circumstances that require an extension of time, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board may make the decision in another three months with the approval from the administrative authority for industry and commerce under the State Council. Where any party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, he may, within thirty days from receipt of the notification, institute legal proceedings with the people's court.

Article 35.  Where an opposition is filed against an accepted and published application for registration of a trademark, the Trademark Office shall hear both the opponent and the opposed party's statement of facts and grounds and shall, after investigation and verification, make a decision on whether the registration shall be approved or not within twelve months from the date of expiry of the publication and shall notify the opponent and the opposed in writing. Where there are special circumstances that require an extension of time, the Trademark Office may make the decision in another six months with the approval from the administrative authority for industry and commerce under the State Council.

Where the Trademark Office makes a decision to approve the application for registration of a trademark, a certificate of trademark registration shall be issued and the trademark shall be published. Where the opponent party dissatisfies with the decision, he may, in accordance with the provisions of Article 44, or Article 45 of this law, request the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board to declare the registered trademark invalid.

The opposed party may, if dissatisfying with the decision made by the Trademark Office for not approving the application for registration of trademark, apply for a review to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board within fifteen days from the receipt of the notification. The Trademark Review and Adjudication Board shall make a decision within twelve months from the receipt of the request for review and notify the opponent and the opposed party in writing. Where there are special circumstances that require an extension of time, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board may make the decision in another six months with the approval from the administrative authority for industry and commerce under the State Council. Where the opposed party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, he may, within thirty days from receipt of the notification, institute legal proceedings with the people's court. The people's court shall notify the opponent party to participate in the legal proceedings as the third party.

In the reviewing procedure based on the provision of the preceding paragraph, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board may suspend the reviewing if the existing earlier right concerned shall be determined based on the result of another case which is heard by the People’s court or is handled by the administrative agency. The reviewing procedures shall be resumed after the causes of the suspension have been eliminated.

Article 36.  Where, at the expiration of the specified period, no party applies for review of a decision made by the Trademark Office of refusing the application for registration or of not approving the registration or institutes legal proceedings with the people's court against a reviewing decision of the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, the decision of refusing the application for registration, the decision of not approving the registration or the reviewing decision shall come into effect. After reviewing, if it is decided that an opposition is not justified and the trademark is approved to be registered, the applicant's exclusive right to use the trademark shall start from the date of expiry of the three-month period from the publication of the accepted application. Where, after the date of expiry of the publication, but before the decision to approve the registration is made, another party uses a trademark which is identical or similar to the trademark to be approved for registration in respect of the same or similar goods, the decision to approve the registration has no retroactive effect on the use of the registered trademark by the other party. However, the damage caused to the trademark registrant by the other party who has used the trademark in bad faith shall be compensated.

Article 37.  Applications for registration of trademarks and applications for review shall be examined in a timely manner.

Article 38.  If an applicant for registration of a trademark or a holder of a registered trademark finds an obvious error in the documents relating to the application or registration, he may apply for rectification of the error. The Trademark Office shall, within the scope of its powers in accordance with law, make the rectification and notify the interested party.

Rectification of errors by virtue of the preceding paragraph does not include the rectification of substantive matters in the documents relating to the application or registration.