The Trademark Office of the China National Intellectual Property Administration on March 24 issued a brief annual review to highlight some significant facts and figures in its services in 2021.
The Trademark Office released on November 16, 2021 the Guidelines for Trademark Examination and Adjudication (《商标审查审理指南》), in place of the Standards for Trademark Examination and Adjudication (《商标审查及审理标准》), which became effective in 2017. The Standards, governed by the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China (《中华人民共和国商标法》) and the Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China (《中华人民共和国商标法实施条例》), was developed and promulgated as detailed and operable specifications for law enforcement agencies. The Standards was amended to reflect the amendments to the Trademark Law effective on November 1, 2019 and renamed as the Guidelines. The Guidelines comes in two volumes and runs 215,000 words long, as a result of an over one-year drafting process involving 4 rounds of discussions by 4 expert committees and more than 1,000 pieces of consultative advice offered by courts and organizations.
Number of examination and adjudication proceedings instituted
14 million trademarks were subject to examination and adjudication proceedings by the Trademark Office and 5 regional patent examination cooperation centers located in Guangzhou city, Shanghai municipality, Chongqing municipality, Zhengzhou city, and Jinan city in 2021. To break down the total, 10.5682 million applications for registration of trademarks were examined, up 20.31% year on year; 61,343 international trademark registrations under the Madrid Protocol seeking extension of protection to China were examined, up 12.5% year on year; 170,100 trademark opposition proceedings were instituted, up 12.5% year on year; 2,895 collective trademark examinations and 2,844 certification trademark examinations were instituted; 382,800 applications for trademark reviews or adjudications were filed, up 6.83% year on year; 3.4083 million trademark maintenance and non-use cancellation proceedings were instituted.
Number of applications for registration filed
7.739 million trademark registrations were issued by the Trademark Office in 2021, a 34.33% increase over the prior year. Of the total, 7.543 million applications were filed by Chinese nationals, accounting for 97.5%, and 194,000 applications were filed by non-Chinese entities or individuals, accounting for 2.5%.
Examination and registration periods
The average of trademark examination periods remained stable at 4 months. The whole application period of trademark registrations had been shortened to 7 months by the end of 2021. China has become one of the world-leading countries in trademark registration and examination times.
Crackdown on trademark squatting and trademark hoarding
482,000 applications for registration of trademarks were identified as bad-faith to be rejected in 2021. In one of the intense crackdown acts, 1,628 trademark registrations were revoked and 1,729 trademark registrations invalidated.
International registrations under the Madrid Protocol
China ranked the world’s third largest location of applications for international trademark registrations under the Madrid Protocol with 5,928 filings in 2021. An online application platform had been developed and open to applicants by the end of 2021, through which 97% of applications had been filed and processed.
Beijing 2022 trademark registrations
A pre-filing clearance search was conducted by an expert group appointed by the Trademark Office as its preparatory work for Beijing 2022. 315 trademarks with the goods and/or services under 45 classes under the NICE Classification were registered by the Organizing Committee of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
The full text is available here.