Once your trademark has been rejected by the CTMO, different approaches shall be adopted under different circumstances.
Identical or similar trademarks have already registered with the CTMO.
Trademark search has a blind period of 3 to 6 months during which newly filing trademarks can not be read, due to the late update of the database information. If your trademark is rejected by the CTMO for this reason, there are two possibilities:
1.A coincidence happens that some has filed the identical or the similar trademark before you do. Then you could register a different new one.
2.An ill-will intention occurs to register your trademark when the applicant has somewhat obtained your trademark. If so CTPLO suggests that you still file the trademark, and apply for reexamination when rejected. Meanwhile CTPLO would assist you to wait until the first-filed trademark gets approved for publication, during which time you can file the opposition against it and cancel the trademark.
Your trademark “lacks distinctive features”
Usually CTPLO won’t let it happen unless the applicant insists on registering the generic mark, for it has been used for a long time. The available methods CTPLO could provide:
1. File the trademark even after it is rejected by the CTMO. Because every time you file, you get the Notification of Acceptance for Trademark Registration from the authority, which allows you to add “TM” to your trademark. Nowadays in China, the least requirement for marketing goods or services is showing Notice of Acceptance for Trademark Registration. Between the interval of application and rejection, you could use the trademark without fail. But this is not what CTPLO encourages.
2. File the review after it is rejected by the CTMO, with the relevant evidence you provide to prove that your trademark have been used and closely linked to goods or services among the customers, thus your trademark has gained distinctive features. This would certainly increase the opportunity of successful registration. The abundant evidence in practice is the key.
Your trademark is rejected because of a certain element
Here element refers to Chinese characters, letters of an alphabet, design, numerals and so on. If your trademark is their combination, it can get approved only when each element gets approved. A common case is: a combination of design and letters is rejected by the CTMO, in that the design has got a similar trademark first filed even though the letters can and should be approved. The best solution would be filing the review with the CTMO and filing the letters at the same time. Although the review might still be rejected by the CTMO, the combination trademark could help to cancel the following similar trademarks submitted by others. The feasibility of tactics lies in the different months these two procedures usually take. The review and adjudication usually takes 18 months and the trademark examination usually takes 12 months.
For example, you filed a combination of logo and CTPLO on Nov 1st, 2010. It is rejected because the logo has been disapproved on Nov 1st, 2011. But you’ve found another applicant filed CTPLO on Sept 1st, 2011. If you give up filing the review for the combination, then the subsequent application of CTPLO would pass the examination. You will lose CTPLO. But if you do the contrary and continue to claim the exclusive right, the combination of logo and CTPLO, before it becomes ineffective (for about 18 months), would certainly cancel CTPLO submitted on Sept 1st, 2011. The time difference makes it work. Your loss would be reduced this way.