Notice on Adjustments to Relevant Approval Items

In accordance with the non-administrative approval items cleanup advice examined and adopted at the 91st State Council executive meeting, and the requirements by Notice on timely adjustment & announcement of approval items by Approval Reform Office of the State Council (S.G.B.H [2015] No.32), the administrative approval items to be adjusted by the SAIC are announced as follows:

  1. The trademark registration is adjusted from non-administrative licensing approval item to administrative confirmation item;
  2. The recognition of well-known trademarks is adjusted from non-administrative licensing approval item to the administrative adjudication item;
  3. Special sign registration is adjusted from non-administrative licensing approval item to administrative confirmation item;
  4. Special sign licensing contract record is adjusted from non-administrative licensing approval item to administrative confirmation item.

The above items are no longer among administrative approval items after adjustment, which are immediately removed from our approval directory. The above items will be further studied, checked up and standardized, combined with the list of department power by the State Council while promoting decentralization and administration by law.

Notice is hereby given.

General Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce

Issued on May 25, 2015

Reading by Li Chunya, lawyer from Unitalen:

Chinese Well-known Trademarks have developed from the overwhelming advertising honors to the specific provision that "well-known trademark shall not be used in advertising" by the new 2014 Trademark Law, from periodical approval and announcement of well-known trademarks before 2013 to today's administrative decisions, and from alienation of honor by the government to the substance of legal relief, which shows the well-known trademark recognition has returned to the nature of the law itself. The well-known trademarks recognized by administrative decisions are quasi-judicial, with legal consequence of administrative enforcement in the relevant administrative confirmation and authorization cases in future, which is even directly applicable when it meets the standards of similar cases. Of course, changing the nature of administrative adjudication will reflect the principle of “passive protection of individual case recognition” of well-known trademarks, that is, the administration cannot take the initiative to recognize well-known trademarks, and the opposite party cannot make application by "only requiring well-known trademark recognition". Only when the interest of well-known trademarks is damaged or in dispute can a well-known trademark be claimed for recognition in specific cases, with the purpose of protecting well-known trademark rights, rather than the recognition itself. Of course, for administrative adjudication, except for those where administrtative decisions are final according to the statutes, the party may apply for administrative review or bring an administrative lawsuit.