Legal options for protecting trademark right

By Spring Chang and Shen Huijuan, Chang Tsi & Partners

The PRC Trademark Law and related laws present trademark rights holders with several ways of protecting their lawful rights and interests. In addition to their own internal protection efforts, rights holders may, depending on the circumstances, enlist the help of the administrative and judicial authorities to protect their trademark rights in the following ways.

Administrative complaints

Spring Chang 苍雨春, Chang Tsi & Partners 铸成律师事务所, Partner 合伙人
Spring Chang
Chang Tsi & Partners

Pursuant to section 53 of the PRC Trademark Law, a trademark registrant or other interested party may request that the Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) deal with an infringement of its exclusive right to use its registered trademark. If the AIC determines that infringement has occurred, it will order the infringer immediately to cease the infringement, and it will confiscate and destroy the infringing goods and the tools used to manufacture the infringing goods or create the representations of the registered trademark. The AIC may also impose a fine.

In such a case, the rights holder typically lodges a complaint in respect of the alleged infringement, following which the local AIC conducts an investigation of the infringement, temporarily seizing the infringing articles. If it determines that infringement has taken place, the AIC will impose an administrative punishment, confiscate the infringing products and may impose a fine. If the rights holder demands that the infringer pay economic damages, the AIC may, at the request of either or both of the parties, attempt mediation. If the infringer is dissatisfied with the decision of the AIC, it may institute an administrative action in a people’s court.

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Spring Chang is a co-founder of and partner at Chang Tsi & Partners. Her practice focuses on intellectual property. Shen Huijuan is an attorney at Chang Tsi & Partners.

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