On July 3, 2014, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (the SAIC) published the Regulations on Recognition and Protection of Well-Known Trademark (the Regulations), which became effective August 3, 2014. The Regulations were a response to the increasing number of trademark infringements on renowned brands and trademarks and were aimed at reinforcing the current trademark protection mechanism.
Well-Known Trademark and Recognition
The current Trademark Law contains provisions relating to the protection of well-known trademarks (the Well-Known Trademarks). The Regulations supplement the Trademark Law by further clarifying the recognition and protection of the Well-Known Trademarks.
The Regulations define Well-Known Trademarks as trademarks that are widely known by consumers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and service providers of the products or services branded with such trademarks (the Well-Known Trademarks). A trademark holder may prove to the trademark bureau that its mark qualifies as a Well-Known Trademark by providing documents relating to trademark registration status, history and geographical regions covered by such trademark, promotion records and advertisement volumes and geographical coverage, as well as sales and market statistics data to support that such trademark is widely used and well acquainted by the public. To qualify as a Well-Known Trademark, a mark does not need to be registered.
A trademark holder may proactively apply to the Trademark Bureau to recognize its marks as a Well- Known Trademark. The Trademark Bureau, the trademark review panel and the applicable administration for industry and commerce (AIC) may also initiate recognition of a mark as a Well-Known Trademark during the process of trademark registration or resolving trademark disputes.
Well-Known Trademark Protection
The Regulations provide that the AICs should strengthen their protection of the Well-Known Trademarks during their trademark registration and administration work. When a trademark holder applies for Well- Known Trademark protection in the process of trademark registration review, trademark dispute resolution or trademark infringement prosecution, the mark holder may submit records evidencing that the mark was protected previously as a Well-Known Trademark in China.
The holder of a Well-Known Trademark may file claims against any infringer with the municipal AIC for investigation and enforcement to protect its interests in the mark.
The Regulations require the AICs to enhance and tighten the protection over Well-Known Trademark in its daily administration and trademark registration.
- Regulations on Recognition and Protection of Well-Known Trademark
- Issuing authority: the State Administration for Industry and Commerce
- Date of issuance: July 03, 2014 / Effective date: August 03, 2014