Keen to burnish your brand in the China market? Bai Gang, Huang Hui and Paul Ranjard set the scene with all you need to know. Amendments to the Trademark Law and how it is enforced are key to understanding China’s system

After years of fumbling, adapting, learning and accumulating experience, especially since its reform and opening up, China is finally managing to set up a complete legal system for the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights.

In order to bring its legislation up to an international standard, China has participated in most of the international treaties on trademarks, including the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property, the World Trade Organistion’s Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, etc.

EVOLUTION OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM

The Trademark Law is the backbone to the system, and needs to be construed with the Implementing Regulation of the Trademark Law, the Regulations for Recognition and Protection of Well Known Trademark, the Measures for the Implementation of the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, etc. Apart from these, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has issued several judicial interpretations on issues concerning the trial of trademark cases. The volume of trademark cases filed in China has increased, year after year.

Recently, China enacted the third revision of its Trademark Law, which entered into effect on 1 May 2014. This article, based on the new Trademark Law, addresses the major points on the registration and protection of a trademark in China.

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Pravin Anand is the managing partner of Anand and Anand, where Binny Kalra is a senior partner and Kirti Balasubramanian is an associate. The authors can be contacted at pravin@anandandanand.com.