(By You Yunting) The Luzhou Qian Nian Liquor Co., Ltd. (“Company L”) found that its competitor, the Shandong-based Zhu Ge Jia Liquor Co., Ltd. (“Company S”) acquired three trademarks from a company that had its registration for the marks cancelled five years prior to the trademark transfer. Following this, Company L filed a request to have the trademark revoked, because it had not been used for a continuous three-year period. However, the Trademark Office denied the application, and Company L requested a review of the decision, which was also rejected, leading Company L to ultimately file an administrative lawsuit. In the lawsuit, Company L was equally unsuccessful, and the court refused its demands in both the first and second instance. Following a series of rejections, Company L then appealed the case to the Supreme People’s Court (“Supreme Court”) for a rehearing.
(By Luo Yanjie) Article 46 of the Trademark Law has regulated how long one must wait until a cancelled or revoked trademark can be reapplied for, and yet due to the complexity of the application procedures, in the process of applying, an applicant could easily be confused or mistaken.
On January 13, 2003, Wang Huilan applied for the registration of a design trademark, numbered 3432984, specifically for Class 18, which includes both bags and briefcases. On July 1, 2004, the Trademark Office under the State Administration of Commerce and Industry (the “Trademark Office”) issued a Notice of Trademark Application Refusal, stating that the applied trademark was similar to already registered ones, and thereby Wang Huilan’s application was refused. Dissatisfied with this result, Wang filed a review application with the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (the “Board”). In July 2007, the reference trademark judged in Wang’s application was cancelled. On August 22, 2007, the Board refused the review application. Ever more dissatisfied with this decision, Wang filed an administrative lawsuit.
Highlight: The first registered trademarks after the promulgation of the trademark law in 1982 will be in the renewal period soon, and most of such trademarks now are owned by foreign invested companies. In this essay, Bridge IP Law Commentary will give our advice and analysis on the trademark renewal.
The system of trademark application was first carried out in China in 1982 with the promulgation of the Trademark Law, by which the period of validity of a trademark registered in China is ten years from the day of approval and can be renewed, otherwise it will be cancelled. Therefore, most first registered trademarks are coming into the renewal period in 2012 or 2013, and among which the trademarks registered by foreign invested companies occupy a higher proportion due to the weak awareness of the trademark of Chinese enterprises then. For this reason, we would like to remind foreign clients to apply for trademark renewal timely during the renewal period and the grace period. Today, our website will introduce and analyze China’s legal system of trademark renewal.