3 Steps to a Trademark

Dan Xu

Dan Xu is a partner and is in charge of the firm’s Intellectual Property & Data Compliance practice. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Eastern China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, and a master’s degree from Leiden University (the Netherlands). Dan passed the China Bar examination in 2012. Prior to joining DaWo Law Firm, Dan worked at the China Desk of a Dutch law firm in Rotterdam and at De Wolf Law Firm Shanghai.

Trademark Product

A trademark, which normally consists of words, logos, or a combination of both (and sometimes sounds), could be one of your most valuable assets because it improves your brand identity and make your products and services stand out among others. Therefore, if you are using something like a logo or phrase to identify your products or services, you may need to consider taking measures to protect it.

Look no further, Da Wo has a new easy-to-use Chinese Trademark Application Platform designed to help you to register your Trademark in China. Click the button below to check it out:https://www.dawo-lf.com/dawo-law-firm-trademark-application-case-submission-questionnaire/

After you follow the simple procedures on the Platform, we’ll offer our expert advice on your case and propose a suitable trademark filing strategy for you.

1.Do I have to register a trademark in China?

As trademark rights are territorial, China does not automatically recognize overseas registrations and follows a ‘first-to-file’ system. This means that your trademark may be without legal protection in China if a similar mark has already been registered in China. In a worst case scenario, the goodwill of your business may be harmed or destroyed if someone misappropriates your trademark and offers sub-standard products or services under the guise of your trademark.

2.Can a foreign company file a trademark application in China?

Yes, but foreign companies without a Chinese branch must apply through a local trademark agent.

3.When should I file a trademark application?

We suggest filing your trademark application as soon as possible before you fully launch your business in China. China applies a ‘first-to-file’ trademark application system. That means your trademark application will be refused if a similar trademark is already registered in China. In this case, you will lose the chance to obtain legal protection of your trademark in China, and you might face accusations of infringing the trademark rights of others by using it.

4.What is a trademark classification?

Trademark classifications relate to assigning specific goods and services to categories of items with the same or similar attributes. They directly relate to your field of business and constitute the scope in which your trademark will be protected.

Based on the Nice Classification, China has developed its own classification system, including 45 classes (34 related to goods and 11 to services). In each class, similar products and services are categorized into the same subclasses.

5.Should I check the availability of my trademark before applying?

An availability check is not mandatory, but we advise performing it before filing a trademark application with the CNIPA to check whether there are any prior similar trademarks that might block the registration of your trademark. It will considerably reduce the risk of your trademark being refused, opposed, or invalidated.

6.How long does it take to register a trademark?

It varies from case to case. If all documents and content are compliant with Chinese laws, it takes nine months to a year to officially register a trademark.

7.What happens next?

After we file the application, the CNIPA will verify whether your documents are sufficient. This process can take up to two months.

If the documents are sufficient, the CNIPA will examine whether the trademark application conforms with local trademark law. If it does not, you’ll have another chance to submit new documents. If your application conforms with local laws, your trademark will be preliminarily approved and published by the CNIPA. Third parties then have three months to file an opposition. If no one objects, your trademark will be officially registered.

Our intellectual property lawyers can assist and guide you through each step of this process for additional fees.

8.Why is DaWo a good option?

Expertise in these matters is of paramount importance. DaWo is qualified by China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) to act as a trademark agent. We have extensive experience helping foreign and domestic clients register and protect their brands in China. As such, we are well positioned to help you deal effectively with trademark registration Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help with trademark registration!