Law & Practice
CHINA: Trademark Filings Now Completely Electronic
Published: July 29, 2020
Hins Li Jiaquan IP Law Guangzhou, China
Jady Yuchan Xu Jiaquan IP Law Guangzhou, China INTA Bulletins—Asia-Pacific Subcommittee
Verifier: Jingjing Liang Easwayer Law Guangzhou, China
Trademark applications covering non-standard specifications of goods and services can now be filed online in China, making the country’s trademark filing procedure completely electronic.
The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) announced the change on May 20, 2020. Previously, CNIPA allowed online applications covering only standard specifications of acceptable goods and services. Applications containing non-standard specifications could only be filed in paper.
Non-standard specifications cover goods and services not listed in the Classification of Similar Goods and Services Table (the Chinese version of the Nice Classification). CNIPA will accept such applications provided the descriptions are specific, accurate, standardized, and consistent with the classification principle. Applicants should also confirm that the description of items conforms to the linguistic habits and rules of use of words of the general public in China. To avoid causing confusion or misclassification, the goods and services should also be sufficiently distinguishable from goods and services classified in other classes.
As part of the formality examination, CNIPA may issue office actions requiring applicants to amend non-standard specifications if the application covers items which are deemed to be misclassified or unacceptable, as per Article 18 of the Regulations for the Implementation of the Trademark Law.
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