1.What are the procedures if the application is fied directly the registration hall of China Trademark Office? When will the applicant get the official filing receipt after the application?
The staff in duty will examine the application documents. The application documents will be returned immediately if the application procedures are not complete, the documents are not filled according to the requirements, or the filing fees are not paid. If complied with the requirements, the staff will accept the documents and the applicant needs to pay the filing fees in the hall. After that China Trademark Office will further examine the submitted documents.
If the documents pass the further examination, China Trademark Office will formally accept the application. And an official filing receipt will be mailed to the applicant.
If the documents generally comply with the requirements but some matters need to be modified, China Trademark Office will issue an amendment notice to the applicant. And the applicant should reply to this notice within 30 days as receipt of the notice. If the reply is submitted within the deadline, the filing date will be retained. But if the reply is not submitted within the deadline or the reply does not comply with the modification requirements, China Trademark Office will reject to accept the trademark application.
The amendment notice, official filing receipt, official rejection notice for accepting the trademark application will be mailed to applicant.
2.What are the procedures of trademark application filed through a trademark agent? When will the applicant get the filing receipt after the application?
China Trademark Office will examine the application documents after receiving the same from the agent. The application will be accepted if the procedures are complete, the documents are filled according to the requirements and the filing fees are paid. The application will be rejected of acceptance if the application procedures are not complete, the documents are not filled in according to the requirements, or the filing fees are not paid.
If the documents generally comply with the requirements but some matters need to be modified, China Trademark Office will issue a amendment notice to the applicant. And the applicant should reply to this notice as required within 30 days as receipt of the notice. If the reply is submitted within the deadline, the filing date will be retained. But if the reply is not submitted within the deadline or the reply does not comply with the modification requirements, China Trademark Office will reject to accept the trademark application.
The amendment notice, official filing receipt, official rejection notice for accepting the trademark application will be mailed to the trademark agent.
3.Why sometimes it takes long time to get the official filing receipt？
After May 1, 2014, China Trademark Office adjusted the acceptance examination procedures of trademark application according to the modified “Implementing Rules of Trademark Law”. Procedures such as scanning the mark sample, information input, confirming the device code, classifying the goods/service items, confirming the payment are adjusted before issuance of the official filing receipt. Under the situation where amendment is required, the filing receipt will be issued after receiving the applicant’s reply of amendment and confirming the payment. Therefore, the time of issuing the filing receipt will be longer before the modification of the implementing rules. China Trademark Office is taking efforts to push the revolution of trademark filing procedures in order to bring more convenience to the applicant. The official filing receipt now will be issued in around 2 months as of the date of filing.
4.What if I have paid the filing fees but I received a rejection of acceptance notice?
Paying the filing fees is the last step of trademark acceptance procedures. China Trademark Office will not charge trademark filing fees if the application is rejected of acceptance due to imcomplete procedures or non-standard filing of the filing documents. If the applicant has entrusted a trademark agent and paid the fees to it, please contact the agent. If the applicant handles the application independently and the fees are paid to China Trademark Office in the registration hall, the applicant can directly request for returning the fees with the original rejection of acceptance notice, original payment certification and identification documents with China Trademark Office.
5.I have filed the trademark application but the details of my mark cannot be found in the online database of China Trademark Office. What is the situation?
There could be many possibilities. For example, the goods or service items applied by the applicant is non-standard and need to be modified. Or China Trademark Office has not received the documents submitted by the trademark agency while the applicant has already made the authorization.
If the aplicant would like to check with China Trademark Office has received the filing documents, it is advisable to submit a request letter. Information of the applicant, agent, class, trademark, filing date, tracking number of the registered mail or the express should be included in the letter.
6.Can the applicant start using the trademark when getting the official filing receipt?
An official filing receipt can only indicate that the application for trademark registration is accepted by China Trademark Office but not that the mark is approved for registration. Before approval, the applied mark is an unregistered mark and should be used accordingly. If the use of the mark infringes upon the trademark right of others, related AIC branches may take raid actions against such act.
7.Can the official filing receipt be reissued if it is lost?
The official filing receipt cannot be reissued as it can only indicate that the application for trademark registration is accepted by China Trademark Office but not that the mark is approved for registration. If there is special need, the applicant shall send a formal letter to China Trademark Office explaining the situation, and CTMO will decide whether to reissue a filing receipt on basis of the actual condition.
8.What are the situations of rejecting the acceptance of trademark application?
Generally speaking, a trademark application will be rejected of acceptance if it consistutes any one of but not limited to the following situations:
No application form, trademark sample, identification document of the applicant is submitted;
The applicant information is not typed or printed if the application documents are filed in paper form;
The applicant uses the wrong applicant form or the standard application form is changed by the applicant;
There are no goods/services items on the application form;
The application form is not in Chinese language. The submitted certificates, certification document or evidence materials are in foreign language without Chinese translation stamped with the seal of the applicant, trademark agent or translation company.
The applicant name and address cannot be confirmed as the application form is not filled in according to the requirements.
The trademark sample does not comply with Article 13 of the Implementing Rules of China Trademark Law.
The statement for a three-dimensional mark, sound mark and color combination mark does not comply with Article 13 of the Implementing Rules of China Trademark law.
The applicant claims to file a collective mark without submitting the administration rules of trademark use and the name list of the members.
The applicant claims to file a certification mark without submitting the administration rules of trademark use and certifying documents showing that it or its authorized origanization has the abilibity to supervise the quality of the related products.
The applicants claim to file a joint application without submitting the additional page listed with the names of all applicants and signed or stamped by the applicants. Or the additional page is submitted but no claim is made that the application is filed in the name of two or more applicants.
The applicant is a domestic natural person but the application documents do not comply with Article 4 of China Trademark Law.
The applicant submitted certain document notarized outside China Mainland without further legalization.
No filing fees are paid.
The applicant does not reply to the official amendment notice within the deadline or the reply does not comply with the requirements.
9.How to confirm whether a trademark is registrable——Prior Search
China Trademark Office’s online database provides free search for prior trademark information. You can refer to it for conducting a trademark similarity search.
10.How to check whether a trademark has been approved for registration?——Post filing search
China Trademark Office’s online database provides free search for trademark information. You can refer to it for conducting a trademark status search.
11.What are priority certification documents? What are the procedures and time frame for requesting such documents?
Within 6 months after applying trademark registration in China, if the applicant needs to claim priority in the member states of “Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property”, it shall file application with China Trademark Office to issue such certification document. The applicant shall submit an application form, a copy of the identification document, a power of attorney if a trademark agent is entrusted. If the procedures are complete and the fees are paid, China Trademark Office will issue an official priority certification document.
If the trademark application has not been accepted when receiving the applicant’s request of priority certification document, China Trademark Office will issue the related document after the trademark application is accepted. If the mark is rejected of acceptance after examination, China Trademark Office will provide no priority certification document.
12.What if the trademark information in the online database of China Trademark Law is not correct?
There is an correction reminder function in this database. The applicant can submit request for correcting the data.
13.Is there any need to file a new application after the adjustment of classification?
The exclusive right to use a registered trademark is limited to the trademark which has been approved for registration and to the goods in connection with which the trademark is to be used. Applicant shall decide whether to file new application according to whether the goods (services) specified in the trademark registration certificate are consistent with the ones requiring exclusive protection. To get trademark exclusive right on the goods beside the approved ones, new application will be necessary.
14.Can the actually produced goods be protected if they are different with the goods on the registered certificate?
Exclusive right of the the registered trademark shall be limited on approved trademarks and goods(services) approved for use. To get trademark exclusive right on the goods beside the approved ones, new application will be necessary.
15.Do we need to file for a new application if the trademark used right now is not the same with the one on the registered certificate?
The exclusive right to use a registered trademark is limited to the trademark which has been approved for registration and to the goods in connection with which the trademark is to be used. If the mark is changed, a new application should be filed.
16.Is there any need to submit paper documents after a trademark agent submits the application online?
There is no need to submit paper document after online filing. But if the applicant asks for priority, it shall provide priority certification document in paper to the Trademark Office
The above content was released on March 2018. If changes are made on basis of relevant laws and regulations and other documents, we will timely update .