New filing formality requirement: “Integrity Commitment Letter for Well-known Mark Protection Request”
New filing formality requirement: as of 1 September 2021, “Integrity Commitment Letter for Well-known Mark Protection Request” is required to be submitted where well-known mark protection is claimed in opposition/review cases before CNIPA
Based on CNIPA’s notice of 6 August 2021, as of 1 September 2021, the applicants who claim well-known mark protection in oppositions/invalidations should submit “Integrity Commitment Letter for Well-known Mark Protection Request” jointly executed by the applicants and their agents in conjunction with their arguments and evidence.
The purpose of submitting this Letter is to strictly regulate the relevant acts of parties submitting documents and evidence when requesting protection of well-known trademarks, and create a good atmosphere of honesty and trustworthiness.
The Letter is a ready formality document prepared by CNIPA for the applicants and their agents’ execution, mainly including the following three contents:
- The applicants and their agents are aware of the relevant provisions of the "Trademark Law", "Regulations on the Implementation of the Trademark Law", "Regulations on the Recognition and Protection of Well-Known Trademarks" and other laws and regulations on the recognition and protection of well-known trademarks, and fill in and submit materials as required following the principle of good faith.
- The applicants and their agents commit that the relevant information and evidentiary materials in the opposition/review documents are true, accurate, and complete, and that there are no false circumstances such as forgery, alteration, concealment of evidence, instigation, bribery, and coercion of others to give false testimony.
- The applicants and their agents commit that there are no dishonest acts such as malicious collusion with the opposed party, and no other acts of fraudulently obtaining protection of well-known trademarks by improper means.
If there is any violation of the above situation, the applicants and their agents are willing to bear the adverse consequences and corresponding legal liabilities.
There have been past incidents where dishonest applicants and their agents have tried to game the trade mark system by falsely claiming well-known trade mark status for financial grants from local governments. For the past few years, the CNIPA has made considerable efforts to tackle the commercial exploitation of well-known trade mark recognition and return the term back to its original legal intent.
This notice is a further step in this positive direction. From 1 September 2021, when filing oppositions/invalidations where well-known mark protection is claimed, brand owners will need to provide an executed Letter to their agents in addition to a power of attorney. Scanned copies of the Letter should suffice, and we are awaiting clarification from the authorities.