More than 1 million trademarks were filed in China in 2010, a 21% increase on the figures for 2009. According to the World Intellectual Property Indicators released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation on 15th September 2010, the Chinese Trademark Office is the largest recipient of trademark applications worldwide. These figures come at a time when filings have dropped significantly in other countries such as Japan and Korea. It is believed that China’s relative insulation from the global financial crisis has allowed it to maintain such progress despite the downward trend in other countries, and Chinese trademark filings are expected to continue to grow.
The increased number of trademark filings far exceeded the number of trademark examinations, which has caused a significant backlog at the Chinese Trademark Office in the past few years. At the end of 2007 the Chinese Trademark Office had a backlog of 1.8 million trademark applications, taking more than three years to examine. In 2008 the office set a goal for clearing the backlog in order to render timely and effective protection to trademark rights. Until 2010 a total of 3.36 million trademark applications have been examined, with the examination period reduced to approximately one year. Currently, the number of trademark examinations exceeds the number of new filings, representing a breakthrough for trademark examination in China.