Important Chinese TM Issues and Info in 2020

1.     New applications increase 20%

The trademark application number from January to October in 2020 reached 7.56 million, a 20% increase over the same period of 2019.

2.     Examination period for different cases

According to non-official statistics, the average examination period is 6 months for a new trademark application (9-12 months to get registration certificate counting from application filing date if everything goes smoothly), 6 months for an appeal against trademark rejection, 16 months for an opposition, 8 months for a non-use cancellation, 9-12 months for an appeal against non-use cancellation.

3.     Success rate increase

According to non-official statistics, in the first half of 2020, the success rate is around 33% for appeal against trademark rejection, 50% for opposition, 68% for invalidation, 72% for non-use cancellation. The success rate for opposition and invalidation seems an obvious increase compared with last year.

4.     Awarded damages increase

It is not rare now to see trademark lawsuits where millions or even tens of millions CNY of damages awarded against the infringers. It has become a trend to provide stronger protection for trademark rights. Beijing High People’s Court published a judicial opinion in early 2020 about the standard of awarded damages for IP infringement and unfair competition cases. In the opinion, the court recommended a minimum damage CNY200,000 in trademark infringement cases if the infringer is found to be the manufacturer. Other opinions published by Supreme People’s Court (SPC) and China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) carry similar information of providing stronger protection for IP rights.

5.     Standardize Administrative Criteria for Trademark Infringement

CNIPA published the Criteria to Determine Trademark Infringement, composed of 38 Rules, aiming to provide guidance to the trademark enforcing organs, primarily the Administrations for Market Regulation (AMR) (formerly the Administrations for Industry and Commerce or AIC) at different levels all over the country, to standardize trademark enforcement criteria and more effectively protect the legitimate trademark holders’ lawful rights and interests. For more information, please refer to the two following documents.

1)      China Standardizes TM Infringement Criteria


2)      Chinese TM Infringement Criteria