Laws and Regulations
CNIPA: the Protection of Well-known Trademarks will be Strengthened
In their response to the “Proposal on Strengthening the Protection of Excellent National Brands in the Gold and Jewelry Industry”, the CNIPA stated that it would continue to strengthen trademark protection.
The reply mentioned that as of the end of November 2020, more than 5100 well-known enterprise brand information had been included, which provides support for strengthening the protection of relevant rights. As of June 2021, the average examination period for trademark registration has reduced to 4 months, invention patents to 19.4 months, and high-value patents to 13.4 months. In addition, in order to facilitate parties in applying for trademarks, the CNIPA has set up 5 trademark examination centers outside Beijing and 275 trademark service counters in 31 provinces (regions and cities) across the country to establish the integrated services network for intellectual property rights.
Since 2018, the SAMR has investigated and dealt with nearly 10,000 cases involving trademark counterfeiting and confusion, with fines totaling RMB 190 million The Ministry of Commerce promoted the establishment of time-honored brand zones on e-commerce platforms such as JD, Alibaba and Suning, driving nearly 1000 time-honored enterprises to develop in e-commerce. According to statistics, 84% of China's time-honored enterprises are profitable.
In addition, the CNIPA stated that it would promote the promulgation of the provisions on the recognition and protection of well-known trademarks, add and improve the protection of well-known trademarks and other indicators in administrative protection, strengthen the protection of national brands, enforce actions against unfair competition in key areas, increase the protection from unauthorized uses of well-known trademarks, and increase enforcement against counterfeiting and confusion such as brand names. The Ministry of Commerce will also strengthen the law to protect time-honored brands and improve systems for their protection and management.
A Company was Fined for the Bad Faith Registration of the Chinese Athlete’s Name “Chen Meng”
On 30 July 2021, the Zhejiang Tier Industry and Trade Co., Ltd. (“Zhejiang Tier”) applied for trademark registration of the name of the Chinese athlete“Chen Meng”. The agent in charge of the trademark registration is Zhejiang Guangyu Trademark Office Co., Ltd..
On 19 August 2021, the CNIPA rejected a total of 109 trademark applications involving the names of athletes such as "Yang Qian" and "Quan Hongchan" on the grounds of "harm to socialist morals and customs and other adverse effects", which included the "Chen Meng" trademark Zhejiang Tier applied for. On 25 August 2021, the Zhejiang Yongkang Market Supervision Bureau issued a warning against Zhejiang Tier's malicious application of the "Chen Meng" trademark and imposed a fine of RMB 3,000.
The Zhejiang Provincial Market Supervision Bureau stated that in addition to imposing penalties on the applicants, the Hangzhou, Wenzhou Lucheng, Jinhua Wucheng Municipal Supervision Bureau and other municipal supervision bureaus have also interviewed trademark agencies such as Zhejiang Guangyu Trademark Office Co., Ltd. for self-regulation and rectification.