As the Chinese and world economies become more intertwined, an increasing number of Chinese companies and individuals are, when it comes to registering trademarks, considering the selection of English-language trademarks, or trademarks which combine both English and Chinese. Foreign companies that are investing or doing business in China show an even stronger preference for using foreign language trademarks. However, the review of English-language trademarks by the Trademark Office are extremely stringent.
The question therefore arises of how to select an appropriate English-language trademark that will pass the review.
Article 10 of the PRC Trademark Law specifies which types of sign may not be used as trademarks. Such provisions are, however, quite general and abstract, making it difficult for domestic and foreign enterprises to understand them.
Li Min is a partner at Run Ming Law Office. Liu Hezhen, formerly head of the 7th department of the Trademark Office, is an intellectual property adviser at Run Ming Law Office
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