As a business owner, you understand how crucial a trademark is. It is the best way to distinguish your services and goods in a busy and sometimes oversaturated market, especially at a glance.
If you intend to register a trademark in China, however, you do not want to drag your feet. Trademark registration is at an all-time high, and signs indicate this will not let up any time soon.
Why do you need a trademark?
The China Trademark Office received almost 8 million trademark applications in 2019 alone. This increase shows no sign of stopping and is in fact gaining traction as time goes on. Legitimate business owners may end up beaten to their own trademark due to the sheer flood of applications. After all, you need a symbol, design or word that no one else has registered yet in order to use it for your own purposes.
Classifying your trademark
When applying for trademark protection, you must first classify your trademark. The classification should benefit your brand in the best way. An agent can then do a preliminary search of databases to see if there are any immediate conflicts in registration.
If the preliminary search does not find conflicts, it is possible to proceed with the application. You need several papers, such as a business license, power of attorney form, trademark application form and some samples of the trademark. These documents must also be in Chinese or they will get rejected.
A 3-month waiting period
If the office approves the application, the trademark gets published in the Trademark Gazette, which is available for public perusal. The public has 3 months to challenge the application, after which the Trademark Office proceeds with registration if no one steps forward.