The trademark registration process in China: companies all over the world are clamouring to get into China's massive market, but in an enormous country with a booming economy, there are inherent risks such as counterfeiting and trademark infringement. If you're considering China as a market for your private company, you will need to ensure your trademark is first registered there, to give you legal protection should rival firms try to copy it.
Trademark registration in China is handled by the Trademark Office of the Industry and Commerce Ministry in Beijing, and you can make an application online - however, the forms are in Chinese as it's the only language accepted, and are complex, so you may not be able to. Here at Coddan, we're happy to help you make the application, so that it's done properly and you get your trademark approved and protected.
The types of trademark allowable in China include those composed of words, letters, numerals and symbols and other designs, now also including three-dimensional designs. In addition, any kind of color combination may be used in the trademark. Those that are not permissible and will be rejected by the Trademark Office are trademarks similar to existing registered ones and proposed trademarks bearing the names of countries and other companies and organisations.
China has adopted the International Classification System, so when applying for a trademark and describing your limited company's products or services with the Trademark Office, you'll be able to choose between 24 categories of products and 11 for services. If you have more than one product or service, however, you'll need to make separate applications.
The proposed trademark must be submitted on paper and in a certain size, and if it's colour there will need to be five copies, and one for black and white. Various documentation must be provided, including a power of attorney letter, and if they're in a foreign language, such as English, they must be submitted along with a translation in Chinese.
If the trademark is approved, it will be valid for 10 years from that date, and renewals are valid for the same period. Applications for renewals must be done at least six months prior to expiry, but there is a grace period of six months from the date of expiry. If no renewal application is received by then, the Trademark Office will cancel it.