TM Opposition Success Rate 50.14%, Effective Blow on Bad-Faith Filing

Edited and translated by Mr. Xiaoming Liu of Chofn IP

The China National IP Administration (CNIPA) published its summary of the opposition examination during the first half of 2020, outlining its important working progress below:

  1. Despite the inconveniences caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the CNIPA finished examining 68162 oppositions, a 71.85% growth over the same period of 2019.

  2. The total and partial success rate of the examined oppositions amounted to 50.14%, higher than 47.65% of 2019.

  3. Of the successful oppositions, 70% were based on the prior similar or identical marks on similar or identical goods or services under Article 30 of the Trademark Law and 30% were based on the principle of good faith and honesty, the prior well-known marks, the agents’ piracy, and other prior legitimate rights or influential marks under Articles 7, 13, 15 and 32 respectively.

  4. The CNIPA reiterated the important role played by opposition procedure to curb bad-faith filing or trademark squatting, and concluded timely the cases where the issues of “warehousing trademarks” and “occupying public resources” are involved. The problem of “bad faith filing” is effectively contained in the opposition procedure.

  5. For the second half of 2020, the CNIPA will 1) promote e-filing for the opposition cases, 2) achieve the goal to conclude opposition cases one month earlier than the statutory time limit, namely 12 months, extendable to 18 months in special cases, and 3) continue its efforts to impose “precise strike” on “bad faith filing” and “trademark warehousing”.

It is particularly worth noting that the CNIPA is more and more friendly to the prior legitimate right holders. In addition to losing the oppositions, once the filers’ bad faith is established, they might be faced with extra penalties in terms of finance, credit and reputation, which can be imposed by the local authorities concerned.

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