Co-author: Alice Zhang, Trade Mark Attorney, Rouse Beijing
An increase in CNIPA examination opinions based on bad faith has left applicants wary in China. Rouse’s Alice Zhang and Amanda Yang answer the six most important questions to avoid rejection.
Ownership of trademarks to protect, commercialise and enforce a company’s rights is especially important in countries such as China, which adopt a first-to-file policy. In the past, filing sizeable numbers of trademark applications in multiple classes did not cause any problems. However, since 2022, more and more trademark applications have triggered examination opinions (issued before substantive examination) or refusals (issued after substantive examination) on the grounds that they were filed in ‘bad faith without intention to use’ based on Article 4 of the China Trademark Law. These sudden rejections have surprised many applicants and made them anxious about how to protect their trademarks in future. But trademark protection does remain available for legitimate brand owners. Read more