Trademark Longevity in the PRC

After a year and half, our client’s trademark was finally granted by the Trademark Office in Beijing.

The client asked me: “Do you have any guidance on requirements for usage and requirements for ongoing maintenance?”

Good question. It occurred to me that this is something important for people to know about, after they tried so hard and obtained the trademark certificate.

Generally, owners of the trademark are entitled to use it in his or her products, packaging and/or marketing materials. They are also entitled to use it in an AD, exhibition or other commercial activities.

However, according to trademark law of PRC:

  1. The term for a trademark is ten years commencing from the day the trademark is granted. If the owner wants to renew it, they must file his/her application of renewal within twelve month before expiration. He/she will have a six months grace period after the expiration date. However, after the grace period, he/she will lose the trademark forever if no application for renewal is filed.
  2. All trademark owners are supposed to file for registration with the Trademark Office in the event that: they plan to change their trademark, they plan to change their name or address or they plan to assign his or her trademark to anyone else. Besides, if the owner doesn’t use his/her trademark for three years consecutively, his/her trademark will face the risk of being revoked by Trademark Office.

It’s not easy for a trademark to be granted in China, given the huge amount of trademark applications the bureau sees each day. To clients this seems to be a never-ending wait. So I want to advise you all to please pay attention to the ongoing maintenance of this precious certificate!

Mrs. Mao is Sr. Partner with a focus on Intellectual Property Protection, Bilingual Contracts, Mediation and Litigation.