SAIC's Notice on the Trademark Registration Reform
On March 20th 2018, the General Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (the “SAIC”) promulgated the Notice on issuing the Three-year Action Plan (2018-2020) for Deepening the Reform of Trademark Registration Facilitation (the “Notice”). The Notice aims to promote the establishment of a high-quality, convenient and efficient trademark registration system and the informatization of the trademark database.
Key features of the Notice are summarized below:
Shorten the period of examination
By 1st April 2018, the period of examination in trademark registration will have been shortened from 8 months to 6 months; the period of examination in recordal of change will have been shortened from 3 months to 1 month; the period of examination in recordal of assignment and renewal application will have been reduced one-third; the period of examination in cancellation action will have been shortened from 9 months to 8 months; and the period of examination in review on provisional refusal will have been shortened from 8 months to 7 months.
On the basis that, the following objectives will have been accomplished by 2020, the period of examination in trademark registration will have been further shortened from 6 months to 4 months; the period of examination in recordal of assignment and renewal application will have been further reduced a half; and the period of examination in cancellation action will have been further shortened to 6 months.
Lower the trademark official fees of E-filing
On the basis of halving the official fees in 2017, the SAIC will Strengthen communication and coordination with the Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance. Upon approval, the official fees charged by the China Trademark Office (the “CTMO”) through electronic channel will be further adjusted, include:
– cancelling the official fees in recordal of change;
– reducing the trademark applications fees to 90%; and
– reducing the other official fees, such as renewal application.
Other opinions on deepening the reform include:
– establishing 2 trademark examination cooperation centres respectively in Zhengzhou and Jinan;
– modifying all trademark formats in adding the new items of the applicant’s unified social credit code (for Chinese companies) and the applicant’s email address;
– extending the opening hours of E-filing systems and achieving the electronic delivery of trademark official documents.