Chinese Trademark

International Trademark

Copyright Registration

What materials are required for trademark registration?

(1) Power of attorney for trademark registration, application form(for trademark registration agents and both can be formed automatically on the website ).

(2) Applicants’ qualifications proofs:

For enterprise applicant: a copy of business license

For individual applicants: a copy of ID card or passport and individual business license

What can be registered as trademark?

Words, images, letters, numerals, 3-dimensional sings and color combinations and any combinations of the elements mentioned can be registered as trademarks.

How long does it take to register a trademark?

The estimated time for the whole process of trademark registration is about 12 months and the actual time taken is subject to the completion time since no specific regulations are made for the completion period.

The estimated time to get notification about processing from National Trademark Bureau is about 5 months and the required time for formal review and announcement is 3 months.

How long is the validity term for trademark?

Validity term for a registered trademark is 10 years. If renewal is needed after the validity term, it should be applied during the last year of the validity term.

If the application has not been submitted during this period, there will be another 6 months as extended period.

The trademark will be cancelled by the National Trademark Bureau if no applications during the extended period.

What colors should be used for trademarks?

Generally black and white are used for trademark registration and any color can be applied after successful registration.

If other colors are used for registration, no change in colors is allowed after registration. We suggest clients use black and white.

How many trademarks can a company register?

There is no limit for the number of trademarks to register for a company. However the trademarks will be canceled if they have not been used for consecutive 3 years after registration.

Is there another way to register a trademark for urgent use?

During the application period, TM can be used for urgent use.

Is it better to register words and images separately or jointly?

We suggest you register words and images separately. Though it costs less to register jointly, trademark registration is more risky to get rejected since more elements will be reviewed, which requires more time for reviewing as well.

More importantly, any words or images from the registered trademarks are not allowed to use separately if they are registered jointly. It is less risky to register separately and any combination of the words and images can be used separately after the successful registration.

Is the goods classification different from that of other countries?

The U.S.A applies international classification of goods and services which is the same with Venice International Classification in terms of the general classifications. In practice of registration and for specific products, the American inspectors may limit the scale of products based on the inspection situation.

When do I need to submit the proofs to use the trademarks?

There are 3 conditions:

(1). For trademarks that have been used before, the proofs are required to be submitted at the same time when the application is submitted.

(2). For trademarks to be used, proofs are required to submit when SOU is submitted.

(3). For registered trademarks, proofs are required to submitted in the 6th and 10th year after registration.

Are there any requirements for proofs of using?

(1). Photos must clearly show the products or services, trademarks and the relations of trademarks and products or services.

(2). Products or services must be real, not in form of samples or models.

(3).Photos must be original without being processed by PS or any other softwares.

(4). Products or services must be sold in the market, not pre-sale.

What can be registered as trademarks?

Any signs including words, images, letters, numerals, 3D signs, combinations of colors and sounds and any combinations of elements mentioned can be registered as trademarks as long as they can differentiate the products by any individuals, enterprises or institutions from other products.

What do TM and R mean in trademarks?

TM is short for TRADEMRK and in China it stands for a trademarks being in the process of application. In the U.S.A, TM is generally used for all trademarks, meaning commercial signs. You can use TM in the U.S.A as long as the trademark is being used no matter it is registered or not.

R is short for REGISTRER, meaning the trademark has been registered in National Trademark Bureau and has been approved to be registered trademark.

Can EU Trademarks take effect in any specific countries?

No, EU trademarks once registered can take effect in all EU member countries. If the trademark needs to be used only in a specific EU country, it can be registered through the trademark bureau of the country.

Can individuals apply for EU trademarks?

Yes. EU and other countries alike allows any individuals, enterprises or other entities legally established to register trademarks in EU.

Will an EU trademark be rejected easily?

There are rare cases in which registration is rejected due to violation of the EU Trademark laws. Mostly applications rejected are due to objections from the similar trademarks’ holders. According to the EUIPO statistics, about one fifth of the trademark applications are rejected.

However, the rate of being rejected can be lowered through the searches and investigations before submitting applications, so as to increase authorization rate.

If an EU trademark application is rejected, is it possible to register in any of its member countries?

Yes. The EU trademarks applications are reviewed by trademark administrations of 28 EU member countries and EU trademarks fail to get registered if any of these countries reject the applications, but they can still be registered as national trademarks in member countries which don’t reject the applications.

If EU trademarks are not put into use after registration, will they be cancelled?

Possibly yes. Any third party can apply to cancel the trademark registrations if the trademarks have not been used for consecutive 5 years after registration. Trademark holders need to provide proofs of using the trademarks during the 5 years to defense. The registered trademarks will be cancelled if EU Trademark Bureau does not approve the proofs.

Is it possible to change the trademarks after submitting the applications?

Generally speaking, trademark bureaus in all countries including Australia do not allow any changes in the signs of the trademarks, but the information of trademark applicants and contact addresses and other information in item descriptions can be changed and content of designated products or services can be partially deleted yet no adding or expanding of their scopes are allowed.

In Canada, is it possible to jointly register a trademark by several individuals?

Generally no in Canada, but yes only if trademarks are applied by joint venture or partnership enterprises consisting of several individuals.

What are the differences between trademarks and trade names in Canada?

The definitions of a trademark and a trade name are the same with internationally recognized definitions. A trade name is the name for a manufacturer and it is an essential part of the enterprise name and an expression of the juridical personality as an enterprise.

A trademark is a brand of products or services of enterprises. An enterprise can only have one trade name but more trademarks and it can apply for both for using. However, any enterprises or individuals can not register others’ legally registered trade names as trademarks, otherwise it will be considered as infringement.

Can India trademark registrations be accelerated?

Like many other countries and regions, India trademark bureau provides accelerated services of reviews. Applicants can apply and pay fees accordingly and within 3 months after the approval the examiners will notify applicants if there is any flaws slowing down the registration.

Can applicants register an Indian trademark in multiple classes?

Yes. Since the fees for adding one category and one application are the same, generally it is better to register one trademark in one class every time to avoid the risk of being rejected due to the failure in any specific class.

Trademarks in use are different from the ones registered, is it necessary to register a new one?

The exclusive rights of registered trademarks are subject to the approved trademarks and products. Registration applications are required if there are any changes in the signs of trademarks.

Why to apply for copyright registration?

Copyright, also named authorship, refers to the creators’ rights over the literary and artistic works. China applies the policy of optional registration. Copyright registration can decrease the burden of searching for evidence for quick and effective legal protection against copyright infringement.

Are there any restrictions for copyright registration and how long does it take to complete?

There are no territory or products restrictions for copyright registration and copyright is to extend the trademark protection scope to all categories. It takes about 1 month to get the certificate issued and the validity for copyright is 50 years and no fees is needed for renewal.

What benefits can I get from copyright registration?

Once you get the authorship through copyright registration, you will have exclusive rights over your works in market.

Without the permission from the creators, nobody can transfer or sell the works. Copyright registration is good for the spreading and economic values of the works with legal protection.

Is it necessary to register trademarks after copyright registration?

Yes. Many clients confuse copyrights with trademarks and even think copyrights can replace trademarks in various business situations.

How long does it take to register a copyright?

Generally about one month.

I have registered copyrights, can I not register trademarks?

Trademarks are mainly used in products and only through registration can the trademark holders have exclusive rights. Trademarks not registered are not intangible enterprise assets and not protected by National Trademark Bureau. Products without trademarks cannot enter regulated markets.

If the trademarks are registered by others then the only way to get back the trademarks is to apply for cancelling his trademark. So we advise you to be proactive by registering trademarks and copyrights at the same time.