Registering a trademark in China is a vital step in protecting your brand and intellectual property. By following this step-by-step guide and working with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), you can successfully navigate the trademark registration process in China. Keep in mind that the overall process, including examination, publication, and potential opposition, can take up to 18-24 months or more, so it's essential to plan accordingly.
Before registering a trademark in China, it is recommended to conduct a preliminary search to check if the desired trademark is available or if there are any similar trademarks that may cause confusion. The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) manages the Chinese trademark database, and you can perform a search on their official website:
Once you have ensured that your desired trademark is available, you need to prepare the application. The application should include the following information:
Submit the trademark application to the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) either online through their website or in person at their office:
Address: No. 6, Xitucheng Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China Website: http://www.cnipa.gov.cn/
After submission, the CNIPA will examine the application for compliance with formal requirements and conduct a search to identify any potential conflicts with previously registered trademarks. This examination process generally takes around 9 to 12 months. If the CNIPA identifies any issues, they will notify the applicant, who will have the opportunity to address the concerns.
If the application meets all requirements, the CNIPA will publish the trademark application in the Trademark Gazette, which is accessible on their website. This publication initiates a three-month opposition period during which third parties can file an opposition against the registration of the trademark.
If no oppositions are filed or if they are resolved in favor of the applicant, the CNIPA will proceed to register the trademark. The applicant will be required to pay the registration fee before the trademark is registered. Once the fee is paid, the CNIPA will issue a registration certificate, and the trademark will be valid for ten years from the registration date.
Trademarks in China can be renewed indefinitely for ten-year periods. To renew a trademark, the owner must file a renewal application with the CNIPA and pay the required fees within the six months before the expiration date or during a six-month grace period after the expiration date.