Things to pay attention to when registering a trademark in China
A trademark protects the trademark registrant by ensuring that they have the exclusive right to indicate the source of the product or service, or to get paid by allowing others to use the product or service. The common value of a trademark is usually decided by the recognition and acknowledgement of the trademark, which is assessed by the estimated value that the trademark can bring to an enterprise.
Five main issues to be noted in trademark registration:
1. Colors used in the application for registration of a trademark
Most registered trademarks are in black and white. After successful registration, colors can be applied to the trademark. Colors can be matched as one wishes. However, if one applies for a color trademark at the beginning, after the certificate of registration is issued, the trademark will be required to be used strictly in accordance with the approved registration and no change is allowed. Therefore, it’s suggested that one apply for a black and white trademark to avoid any follow-up problems.
2. Fonts used in the application of trademark registration
Chinese characters have a long history with various fonts and forms. Therefore, in trademark management, adherence to the principle of consistency with the registered font is standard practice. In cases where there is a minor change, e.g., registering handwritten characters while using printed characters, the normal usage of the trademark will not be affected.
3. Trademark description
（1）When filing a trademark application, it is necessary to explain the formal writing method if the Chinese and English characters are artistically designed.
（2）If the application is a combination of English and Chinese, and the English application has a similar prior application, the English application can be linked with the Chinese one when preparing a description; the Chinese application mainly plays a role in identification, which will improve the pass rate of the English application
（3）Many clients prefer to add suffixes related to their products or services. For example, a client filing a trademark for ** Optoelectronics, registered for LED lights, will usually waive the exclusive rights to the word “optoelectronics” in their trademark. However, if the trademark ** Optoelectronics is registered for a product unrelated to optoelectronics, even if the client doesn’t include “optoelectronics” as part the trademark, the entire trademark may be rejected because of the incompatibility of the term with the product. Therefore, it is usually not advisable to add these suffixes. First register for the core trademark content. After the application is successful, one can add these suffixes to your product.
4. Select specific product items
There are 45 classes of trademarks. The Classification of Services and Goods is a reference book to assist in the selection of specific products. The principle of domestic trademark registration in China is that one trademark applies for registration in one class and requires the submission of one application form, which is called “one form and one class”. If a trademark is registered in two classes, two application forms must be submitted.
When registering a trademark in a class, one can select 10 product items. First, when one chooses a product, one can select the main product, which is considered the “core product”. Second, one can expand the scope of protection. Each major subgroup will select one product for trademark protection. Another advantage of more subgroups is that if certain products are rejected, other products can still receive certificates. (Note: If more than 10 product items are selected for a trademark in a class, the Trademark Office will charge an additional fee for each additional item.)
It takes about 13 months to apply for trademark registration. The Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China is based on the “first to file” principle, i.e., whoever applies first gets approved. Therefore, it is best to apply for trademark registration as soon as possible!
Perhaps the trademark registration details covered in today’s article are not comprehensive enough, but we will be sharing more content in the future, and we look forward to helping those in need.