How Companies in China Apply for Reserve Trademarks and Defensive Trademarks?

(By Luo Yanjie) A reporter from China Industry & Commerce News asked the author how companies should apply for reserve trademarks and defensive trademarks. The interview is as follows:

1. How to decide between the registration of a reserve or defensive trademark?

Reserve trademarks are prepared for coming new business. Because the period from application to reservation requires one year, it is suggested to prepare some spare names for new products or services being prepared or under research and development. Then, before the product is released, the company can directly select and use a name it has already registered. Generally, it is only necessary to apply for the classes the company intends to adopt, and there is no need to register many other related classes.

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What Geographical Names Can be Registered As Trademarks in China?

It is reported that (Note: the link is in Chinese) Wakayama County of Japan recently announced that the trademark application for “Ji Zhou” (纪州) filed by a Hong Kong company on the Chinese mainland concerns a publicly well-know geographical name. The County has also filed an objection with the Chinese Trademark Office because this name is not appropriate to serve as a trademark. The report also stated that Wakayama County has been paying close attention to trademark applications in China since 2010 and has already had two objections granted against trademark applications for “Wakayama.” Today, we would like to discuss whether geographical names can be registered as trademarks:

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