In August 2013, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) supported the appeal filed by the applicant represented by Beijing East IP Ltd., and the TRAB rendered the favorable decision approving the registration of the BLURB mark in Class 40.
In 2009, the Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO) rejected the BLURB mark based on different grounds by citing different provisions of Chinese Trademark Law: the ground of descriptiveness of Article 11(2) for computer software in Class 9, the ground of detrimental influence of Article 10(8) for computer software services in Class 42, the ground of lack of distinctiveness of Article 11(3) for printing services in Class 40. In 2010, the TRAB has already rendered the favorable decisions approving the registration of the mark BLURB in Classes 9 and 42 respectively.
According to the TRAB decisions, the BLURB mark is distinctive, and does not violate Article 11(2), Article 11(3), or Article 10(8). The TRAB decisions on the BLURB mark reflects the typical issues in the practice, the trend and the recent amendments of Chinese Trademark Law.
First, the CTMO practice of rejecting the same mark in different Classes based on totally different grounds is not unusual. This practice has confused the trademark owners.
Second, there are misunderstanding of detrimental influence of Article 10(8) and the difference between Article 10(8) and Article 10(7) in the practice. According to the new Chinese Trademark Law, Article 10(7) has also been amended to read as “those having the nature of fraud, which tends to mislead the public on the characteristics of quality and the like or the origins of productions” from “those having the nature of exaggeration and fraud in advertising goods.”
Third, Article 11(3) of the new Chinese Trademark Law has clarified that lack of distinctiveness prescribed by Article 11(3) is the catch-all provision for Article 11(1) and Article 11(2).