China's new Trademark Act came into force on 1 May 2014. Various transition measures have been implemented to secure a smooth transition from the previous law to the new law.
Below is a brief summary of the transition measures of The State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Supreme People’s Court that apply to all courts and administrative entities.
After 1 May 2014, any decisions made by Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO), Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) and AICs (the local Administrations for Industry and Commerce) must, as a general rule, apply the new act.
Oppositions filed before 1 May 2014, however, are still subject to most of the provisions of the previous act.
Adjudication applications on the invalidation or revocation of a registered trademark filed with TRAB before 1 May 2014 are subject to the previous act in respect of procedural issues, while the new act applies in respect of substantive issues.
The previous act governs the use of the term ‘Well Known’ on goods and packages put into circulation before 1 May 2014.
For trademark infringement committed before 1 May 2014, the previous act applies. However, in the case of infringements committed before 1 May 2014 and continued after 1 May 2014, the new act applies.
The new act applies to any appeal cases in which decisions were made by CTMO and TRAB after 1 May 2014.
In the event that CTMO has refused to accept an opposition after 1 May 2014, but the opposition was filed before that date, the People’s Court will apply the previous act.
Where TRAB decided to review a case before 1 May 2014, and
- TRAB made a decision approving trademark registration after 1 May 2014; the People’s Court will, according to the new act, not allow appeal.
- TRAB made a decision refusing trademark registration after 1 May 2014; People’s Court will allow appeal and hear the case subject to the previous act.
In the case that TRAB decided to review a registered trademark and made a decision after 1 May 2014, the People’s Court must apply the new act on procedural issues and the previous act on substantive issues.
Where the dispute has arisen before 1 May 2014 but continues after 1 May 2014, the People’s Court will apply the new act.