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More and more French companies, decide to file their marks in China, allured by the opportunities offered by the People’s Republic of China. Filing a trademark in China is much easier than one could imagine. The recording procedure is certainly long, but relatively easy. China, for the fifth consecutive year, receives the greatest number of requests for trademarks in the world. Here is a small guide that wishes to give a little help to those people who aspire to launch their marks on the Chinese market.

1) Convincing cost: Filing a trademark in China is relatively inexpensive: one should count only 1035 Euros per mark and class. This sum includes the official fees, as well as the local agent fees (natural person and body corporate are not authorized to file directly their requests).

2) Light requirements: Few documents are required to file a trademark in China :

– A power capacity duly completed and signed, authorizing the local correspondent to carry out the deposit.

– The wording of the products and services concerned

– Ten specimens of the mark.

– A translation in Chinese characters of the applicant’s name

3) Simple registration procedure :

– Once the file is complete, the mark is filed before the Chinese Trademark Office, which checks the transmitted documents within the next two months. Then, the Office emits a receipt indicating the date and number of deposit.

– Within approximately ten months from the date of filing, the office carries out two basic checks: of the existence of identical or similar marks already recorded in China for the same type of products, and of the conformity of the mark in comparison with the Chinese law.

– If the mark is accepted for recording, it will be preliminary published in the Trademark Office Gazette.

– From the date of this publication, third parties have a three months delay to act against the trademark registration.

– In absence of any opposition within those three months, the trademark will be finally registered and published.

– The registration certificate is emitted in the three months following the date of registration and will be valid for the next ten years, starting from the date of its delivery.

– The use of the trademark must not be stopped for more than 3 consecutive years, so that third parties can not require its forfeiture. The future depositors will have to keep in mind that considering the long times required to obtain the recording (18 months on the whole), it is highly recommended to try to file the trademark as soon as possible. It is also judicious to record Chinese versions of the trademarks. The translation in Chinese, which is not automatic, requires a real effort of research. This investment should not be neglected, because the success of a mark in China depends essentially on the choice of Chinese characters and the effectiveness of their combination. 

 

David SAUSSINAN 

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