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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How to Acquire the Trademarks of Companies Whose Business Have Been Canceled or Whose Licenses Have Been Revoked in China?

By Albert Chen

Trademark assignees may sometimes encounter an awkward situation: the target trademark is in the hands of a company that has had its business license revoked or that has been cancelled. Although the trademark is still valid, others seem to have no legitimate means to acquire it. So, under these circumstances, does the assignee really have no means to acquire the trademark? In today’s post, you will find the answer.

I. Why would trademarks be left unused?

According to relevant statistics, the average life of Chinese companies is seven years, and the average of life of privately owned companies is only 2.9 years. On the other hand, however, the validity period of a trademark is ten years, and there is nothing in Chinese law that states that the trademark shall automatically become invalid when the business license of its holder is revoked or the company is cancelled. Especially when the business license has been revoked, the company still has legal capacity. It is merely incapable of conducting civil acts, including the use and transfer of trademarks, because its business license or chop has been announced invalid or has been confiscated under the punishment of business license revocation.

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