China is one of the biggest economies in the world and therefore a very large market for Intellectual Property. Since China is a first to file country, it is imperative that you are proactive in protecting your trademark rights. You may find that a similar/identical trademark to yours has already been registered, making it difficult for your well established brand to be used in China.
Trademark Registration Procedure in China
The trademark is filed in the desired classes or classes. The application is then reviewed to ascertain whether all the formal requirements have been met, most especially, if the trademark has been filed in the proper classes and in line with the standard designated goods/services. This usually takes about one month. After the formality review, an official filing receipt is issued.
The application now goes through substantive examination. This type of examination looks at whether the trademark itself is registrable and whether it conflicts with the trademarks of prior rights owners. It will take about 3 months of this examination.
If the application is accepted, then the application is published in the Trademark Office website for 3 months. At this time, third parties who would like to oppose the registration of the mark will have the chance to do so. If there is no opposition a digital certificate of registration will be issued about a month after the 3 month opposition period comes to an end.
Validity of a Chinese trademark
A Chinese trademark is valid for 10 years and renewal period is calculated from the registration date.