The China Trade Mark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) has recently introduced measures aimed at reducing its backlog of cases. As a result, the TRAB will no longer suspend the processing of appeals cases pending the outcome of related non-use cancellations or invalidation actions filed against cited marks if such actions were not initiated prior to the filing date of the mark under appeal. This may have a substantial impact on the strategy that clients adopt in dealing with objections based on conflicting earlier rights in China.

One solution is to identify potential obstacles prior to filing and initiating action before seeking registration. Another option may be to seek consent from the earlier rights holder, but experience suggests that local rights holders rarely cooperate and not without payment of substantial “compensation”.

Separately, the China Trademark Office (CTO) has also introduced a simplified practice concerning the recordal of a change of name. This can now be based on a simple photocopy or printout of the relevant information from the company registry. There is no longer a need to submit an original Company Registry certificate.