(By Luo Yanjie) According to Chinese legislation, a mark which has a common meaning in normal ways may be registered as a trademark where it has acquired distinctiveness through use and is readily distinguishable. If being registered, the mark with a common meaning would be protected under the Trademark Law. However, in practice, a competitor may use the trademark against the exclusive right holder, with a defense that the trademark has common meaning. Today, we will introduce a successful case where the court is in favor of the exclusive right holder of the trademark.
(By Luo Yanjie)Abstract: Pursuant to Chinese Trademark Law, those applications having unhealthy influences shall not be used as trademarks. “Unhealthy influences” refers to a negative, or inactive influence that may detrimental to the interests and social order of the public, including political, economic, cultural, religious and ethnic allusions which are a registered trademark itself or a mark that is applied to goods or services. However, the Chinese Trademark Office should have a consistent attitude regarding the trademark adjudication standard for these unhealthy influences.
(By Luo Yanjie) Early in this year, JDB Inc., the famous herbal tea manufacturer argued with Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Company (the “GPC”) regarding ownership of the Wang Lao Ji trademark, which concluded in JDB being ordered to cease its use of the trademark. Now, JDB has begun its second battle with GPC, this time accusing GPC of infringeing the trademark “Ji Qing Shi Fen (吉庆时分).” Wanglaoji Health Industry Co. Ltd. (Guangzhou Wanglaoji Company) affiliated with GPC, recently made a statement that the State Trademark Office had accepted its application to revoke the registration of “Ji Qing Shi Fen (吉庆时分)”, the main reason being that the mark is considered generic in the sense that it is vocabulary in common use. Due to this, the State Trademark Office further advocated that it is uncertain whether there can be any exclusive right in the use of the registered mark.
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:
It is reported that the British Lotus who will adopt “路特斯”, the transliteration of Lotus in Chinese, as its local brand in China due to a Chinese domestic company first registered the trademark of “Youth Lotus”. It’s also mentioned in the report that British lotus lost the trademark though it should have the chance to get it through the trademark refusal review. Today, Bridge IP Law Commentary will introduce you the system of review on the trademark refusal in China.
As regulated in the Article 32 of China trademark law:
The brief introduction on the registration process of trademark in China
Bridge IP Law Commentary is frequently asked to introduce the process of the trademark application in China and the time it may take. Actually, the trademark registration is a harsh job here 5 years ago, for the administrative examination and approval could take as long as 3 years due to the imbalance between the rocketing applicaton amount and the low efficiencty of the trademark office in China. Luckily, it has been greatly improved, and 10 months is enough for going through the process. Today, Bridge IP Law Commentary will introduce you the standard process of the China trademark registration:
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.