Recently, the State Administrations of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) made an announcement that, after July 1, 2016, 25 local Administrations of Industry and Commerce (AICs) may receive pledge applications of trademark rights on behalf of China Trademark Office. Applications filed through the local AICs are free of charge.

According to the announcement, the local AICs may receive the application documents, prepare list of applications, forward the application documents to China Trademark Office for examination, and deliver the pledge registration certificates to applicants. The 25 local AICs who are authorized to receive pledge applications include AICs in Zhejiang, Anhui, Guangdong, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Gansu, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Neimenggu, Jilin, Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. This new measure is aimed to further streamline administration, delegate power to lower levels, and bring convenience to the applicants.

With this new practice, we may expect more pledge of trademark rights in China. Therefore, when acquiring/assigning trademarks in China, it is important to firstly check whether the trademarks have been pledged.