Can you speed up a China trademark application?
Starting in 2022, you can now seek a faster registration of your trademark in China. The Chinese trademark office, known as the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), will now accept requests for expedited trademark examination. To fast track your China trademark application, a request must meet certain requirements.
Need to fast track your China trademark registration? Our firm works with cost-effective foreign trademark attorneys experienced in China trademark law. Contact US patent and trademark attorney Vic Lin at (949) 223-9623 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What marks are eligible for expedited examination in China?
To be eligible for expedited examination in China, a trademark must meet at least one of the following conditions:
- mark needs urgent protection and involves the name of a major national or provincial project, major program, major scientific and technological infrastructure, major sports event, major exhibition, etc.;
- use of the mark relates to responding to a significant natural disaster, significant accident, significant public health event, significant social security emergency;
- mark is related to building the economy and society of the country as detailed in the Outline for the Building of a Country Strong in Intellectual Property; or
- mark is of great practical significance for national interest, public interest or major strategies for regional development.
What is noticeably absent in the above conditions is the trademark owner’s desire to get a fast registration. Instead, you have to show how the mark is important to the country’s interests.
What are the requirements of a Fast Track China trademark application?
To fast track a China trademark application, the filing must meet the following requirements:
- consent of all applicants (most likely not an issue in most trademark applications where only a single applicant is involved);
- electronically filed;
- word mark only;
- no collective trademarks or certification marks;
- goods or services must be closely related to the circumstances listed in Article 2 and are standard descriptions listed in the Classification of Goods and Services;
- no priority claim.
Without a priority claim to a previously filed counterpart application, there will be tradeoff. You do not gain the benefit of an earlier US filing date, but you might end up with an earlier trademark registration in China.
What paper documents must be submitted after e-filing your China trademark application?
It seems contradictory to require paper documents when the trademark application itself must be e-filed. In any event, an applicant must follow up by submitting the following paper documents:
- fast-track examination form
- evidence and any materials to support eligibility of the mark for fast-track examination;
- recommendations of the relevant governmental central and state departments, or reasons for requesting fast-track examination by the IP department of the relevant province.
For US companies and trademark owners, the need for recommendations by local Chinese governmental authorities should be given due consideration. Experienced China trademark law firms may be able provide insight and guidance on this requirement.
How long does a fast track China trademark application take?
At the outset, your expedited request must first be granted by CNIPA. If approved, then the examination of your China trademark application will be completed within 20 days of the approval. This is significantly faster than the normal timeframe of 8 months for a regular China trademark application.
How to Get a Fast China Trademark Registration
US trademark applicants may be accustomed to waiting out the normal 6-month period for claiming priority. If you are seriously considering a fast-track China trademark filing, you do not want to wait since a priority claim is unavailable. In fact, there is nothing stopping US applicants from first trademarking in China.
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