A trademark is a valuable business asset. And if you’re planning to enter the Chinese market, having the accurate knowledge about the process for China trademark registration will save you time and energy.
Trademarks protect different kinds of intellectual property, including your products and services. They also influence the consumer’s purchasing decision because it mirrors the reputation of your brand.
Apart from these vital reasons, keep in mind that China doesn’t recognize unregistered trademark rights. So it’s wise to register your trademark in the region before you build your business.
Today, we’ll dive into the process and regulations of China’s trademark registration.
Early registration matters
Chinese trademark law has the “first to file” system. This means that whoever files a particular trademark first will get the rights.
Once your trademark is approved, it will be valid for ten years with a right of renewal for one more decade.
Also, since the official written language in China is Mandarin Chinese, it’s best to register your brand name in Chinese characters.
Things you can register as a trademark
You can register words, design, letters of an alphabet, numerals, symbols, and even color combinations.
To check if your trademark names are still available, you can go to their government website. Here you can search for similar trademarks, check your application status, and read the TM Gazette.
Documents you’ll need
Here are the documents you need to prepare to apply for trademark registration.
- Enterprise License such as Company Registration Certificate, Business Registration Certificate, Business License, etc.
- Trademark pattern in clear JPG format.
- Description of your goods and services which the trademark is applied to.
- Name of the entrepreneur, your company address, email address, and phone number.
When you file your application, it will take you about 2 months to receive the notification of acceptance. After 9 months, you’ll get the result of the trademark examination by the China State Intellectual Property Office.
Once your trademark passes the examination, it will be published on the website TM gazette of China trademark for around 3 months.
If no one opposed the trademark, you will receive the certificate of the trademark within a month.
Full trademark classification list
The products you can register are split into 45 Classes. Each Class has subclasses, which include codes of potential products.
Below, you’ll see how the classification looks like. There’s no limit to the number of Classes you can pick to register your trademark.
|Chemicals used in industry, science, and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics; manures; fire extinguishing compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; chemical substances for preserving foodstuffs; tanning substances; adhesives used in industry.|
|Paints, varnishes, lacquers; preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood; colorants; mordants; raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art.|
|Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions; dentifrices.|
|Industrial oils and greases; lubricants; dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions; fuels (including motor spirit) and illuminants; candles and wicks for lighting.|
|Pharmaceuticals, medical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic food and substances adapted for medical or veterinary use, food for babies; dietary supplements for humans and animals; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides|
|Common metals and their alloys; metal building materials; transportable buildings of metal; materials of metal for railway tracks; non-electric cables and wires of common metal; ironmongery, small items of metal hardware; pipes and tubes of metal; safes; ores.|
|Machines and machine tools; motors and engines (except for land vehicles); machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles); agricultural implements other than hand-operated; incubators for eggs; automatic vending machines.|
|Hand tools and implements (hand-operated); cutlery; side arms; razors.|
|Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; compact discs, DVDs and other digital recording media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment, computers; computer software; fire-extinguishing apparatus|
|Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments; artificial limbs, eyes, and teeth; orthopedic articles; suture materials.|
|Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply and sanitary purposes.|
|Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water.|
|Firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosives; fireworks.|
|Precious metals and their alloys; jewelry, precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments.|
|Paper and cardboard; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery; adhesives for stationery or household purposes; artists’ materials; paintbrushes; typewriters and office requisites (except furniture); instructional and teaching material (except apparatus); plastic materials for packaging; printers’ type; printing blocks.|
|Unprocessed and semi-processed rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and substitutes for all these materials; plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture; packing, stopping and insulating materials; flexible pipes, not of metal.|
|Leather and imitations of leather; animal skins, hides; trunks and traveling bags; umbrellas and parasols; walking sticks; whips, harness, and saddlery.|
|Building materials (non-metallic); non-metallic rigid pipes for building; asphalt, pitch, and bitumen; non-metallic transportable buildings; monuments, not of metal.|
|Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; unworked or semi-worked bone, horn, ivory, whalebone or mother-of-pearl; shells; meerschaum; yellow amber.|
|Household or kitchen utensils and containers; combs and sponges; brushes (except paint brushes); brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; steelwool; unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building); glassware, porcelain, and earthenware.|
|Ropes and string; nets; tents, awnings, and tarpaulins; sails; sacks; padding and stuffing materials (except paper, cardboard, rubber or plastics); raw fibrous textile materials.|
|Yarns and threads, for textile use.|
|Textiles and substitutes for textiles; bed covers; table covers.|
|Clothing, footwear, headgear.|
|Lace and embroidery, ribbons and braid; buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles; artificial flowers.|
|Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors; wall hangings (non-textile).|
|Games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles; decorations for Christmas trees.|
|Meat, fish, poultry, and game; meat extracts; preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs; milk and milk products; edible oils and fats.|
|Coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee; rice; tapioca and sago; flour and preparations made from cereals; bread, pastries and confectionery; edible ices; sugar, honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt; mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; ice.|
|Agricultural, horticultural and forestry products; raw and unprocessed grains and seeds; fresh fruits and vegetables; natural plants and flowers; live animals; foodstuffs for animals; malt.|
|Beers; mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic beverages; fruit beverages and fruit juices; syrups and other preparations for making beverages.|
|Alcoholic beverages (except beers).|
|Tobacco; smokers’ articles; matches.|
|Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.|
|Insurance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs.|
|Building construction; repair; installation services.|
|Transport; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement.|
|Treatment of materials.|
|Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.|
|Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software.|
|Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation.|
|Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture, horticulture, and forestry services.|
|Legal services; security services for the protection of property and individuals; personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals.|
China’s trademark registration is a long process, so remember to stay patient. In the end, your efforts will be worth it, because you can serve your Chinese consumers while obeying the rules of their market.
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