The Chinese Trademark Office has announced that decisions on trademark opposition in China are now published online. This is in force since 1 January 2020.
The China National Intellectual Property Office (CNIPA) has recently announced that opposition decisions in the field of trademarks are now published online as of January 1, 2020.
Opposition decisions are published on the China Trademark Network within 20 working days from the date of posting, except in one of the following cases:
- if they concern business secrets and the privacy of the parties;
- if the party requests confidentiality in writing and the Trademark Office deems it appropriate;
- if the Trademark Office considers other special circumstances inappropriate for publication on the Internet.
However, the published document deciding on the opposition to a trademark is for reference only and has no legal effect.
Trademark opposition in China
The Chinese trademark law against trademark infringement in China was renewed only recently, at the end of 2019 – we reported. The declared aim of the new regulations is to make it easier to take action against unlawful or malicious trademark applications. Changes have been made to Articles 4, 19, 33, 63 and 68 of the Trademark Ordinance in Chinese trademark law.
Especially foreign companies have two essential legal remedies available under Chinese trademark law to oppose an unlawful trademark application in China. On the one hand, a cancellation of the Chinese trademark can be requested under Article 44 (by claiming malicious intent), on the other hand, the existing earlier rights can be invoked and a trademark infringement can be claimed under Article 45.
Please read more about this in our article: Trademark Infringement in China – what to do?
Opposition in China against a trademark application
Moreover, Article 33 provides for a period of 3 months for a trademark opposition in China against a trademark application. Within three months from the publication date of the preliminary examination result of the trademark, a person with a legitimate interest may file an opposition against a trademark application in China with the Chinese Trademark Office.
Restoration of time limits in times of the corona virus
Before the Chinese Patent and Trademark Office (CNIPA), there are basically two ways to recover one’s rights for patents, utility models and also designs if deadlines have been missed. However, this right of restoration does not apply to Chinese trademarks.
However, the corona virus and the extensive quarantine measures have created a special situation: Anyone in China who would miss time limits due to the corona virus, both with regard to patents and trademarks, can request restoration of their rights.
The EUIPO has also already reacted to the corona virus and is extending all time limits relating to European trademarks and community designs that were valid before the EUIPO – for all time limits involving parties from China.
Are you also planning to file a trademark opposition in China or before EUIPO?
Our attorneys have many years of expertise in trademark law as well as in the entire field of intellectual property and are entitled to represent you before any court – in Germany and internationally, especially in China.
Please contact us if you are interested.
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