Trademark law in the People’s Republic of China

The Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China, which was enacted on 23 August 1982 and amended just 20 years later upon China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, underwent some substantial revisions last August. Having reached the end of an amendment that lasted seven years, the revised Trademark Law shall come into force on 1 May 2014. The current legislation implements what is referred to as the Promotion Plan for the Implementation of the Intellectual Property National Strategy of 2013, which specifically demand for some important changes to be introduced into the Chinese Trademark Law.

More lengthy than its predecessor (made up of 73 articles compared with the previous 64), this 2013 law aims to tackle a number of problems, whose importance has emerged since the previous law was first applied.

Among the main innovations of this new law, there is the requirement to observe the principles of fairness and good faith when submitting an application for registration and when using trademarks (article 7). Designed to tackle fraudulent registration or bad-faith registration, this provision deals with an issue that foreign investors have been flagging up to the authorities for some time now, and one that, more recently, has also concerned local entrepreneurs…

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