• Professional News
  • 02 October 2014

Guidance on the new Chinese trademarks act

The new Chinese trademarks act came into force on 1 May 2014. As an aid to the construction of the act, new implementing regulations have been issued.

The Chinese trademark authorities have issued new implementing regulations (”Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China”).

The new implementing regulations are not legally binding, but are an important aid to the construction of the new Chinese trademarks act.

The most important elements of the guidance are:

Streamlining of procedures
The Chinese government has wanted to streamline existing procedures in the field of trademark law, including all procedures in connection with trademark application and registration.

Division of applications
The regulations set out the procedure for dividing a trademark application if an application is partially rejected for some goods or services but not for others, which is authorised under the act.

This represents a significant improvement compared with the previous trademarks act.

Trademark infringement
The implementing regulations set out the general rules on the hearing of infringement proceedings. This will probably make things easier for rights holders compared with the previous rules.

It is also specified how to calculate the infringing party's unlawful profit, which was unclear under the previous rules.

Well-known trade marks
The implementing regulations establish the procedure for protecting well-known trademarks. In addition, separate guidelines have been issued about this.

Sound marks
As something new, the Chinese trademarks act has made it possible to register sound marks in China.

The guidelines establish the procedure for application for sound mark registration, including the requirement of a satisfactory sound test and a description of the sound.

Assignment of trademarks
Following the introduction of the new act, it is no longer possible to enforce trademark rights if the rights have been assigned without registration of the assignment.

The new regulations set out the procedure for registration of assignment. In order to assign a registered trademark, the existing and the future owner of the trademark must make a joint application to the Chinese trademark authorities for assignment of the trademark.

The new implementing regulations came into force at the same time as the new trademarks act on 1 May.

For further information, please contact Claus Barrett Christiansen, partner and member of Bech-Bruun's Chinese Desk, at clb@bechbruun.com

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