There are two ways to protect your trademark in China: the filing of a Chinese Trademark Application or the designation of PRC through the international trademark registration.
Shall be registered any signs capable of being represented graphically, including words, designs, letters, numbers, three-dimensional marks, combination of colors and combination of signs.
With regard to the latest guidelines of the Chinese Trademark Office on the classification of products and services, we note that since 1 January 2013 the China Trademark Office has accepted trademark applications in class 35 for “retail or wholesale services concerning pharmaceutical, veterinary, sanitary preparations and medical supplies”. It is the first time that Chinese Trademark Office has accepted trademark applications claiming protection for “retail or wholesale services”, even though limited, at present, to pharmaceutical, veterinary, sanitary preparations and medical supplies.
After the filing, applications are examined to the formality and substance (possible conflicts with prior rights).
If the Examiner finds some obstacles to the registration, an office action is issued. An application that is refused by the Trademark Office may be appealed to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board within fifteen days from receipt of the notification. If the decision of the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board is unfavorable, it is possible institute a legal action in Court within 30 days from receipt of the notification.
In the event no office action is issued by the China Trademark Office, or in case you have overcome the refusal, trademark application will be published in the Trademark Gazzette.
Third parties will have three months to file an opposition to the registration.
A registration is valid for ten years starting from the date of registration and can be renewed indefinitely, each time for ten years.
Trademark registration is subject to cancellation in the event of non-use for three consecutive years.
It is advisable to register also the Chinese version of a Latin trademark.