Previously, under the CNNIC ccTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (CNDRP) which governs the .CN (and .中国) domain in China, no complaints under CNDRP could be filed against a .CN domain which had been registered for more than 2 years.
This time bar led to debates as to whether it imposes an unreasonable time limit on the fair and equitable enforcement of intellectual property rights. For further background to this time-bar under CNDRP, please refer to our previous post (July 2017).
Time-Bar extended to 3 years
As discussed in our previous post, we speculated whether this time bar under CNDRP would be extended to 3 years, following the extension of time bars for general civil claims from 2 years to 3 years as announced in the amendments to the General Civil Law Rules of People’s Republic of China in 2017.
Recently, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) issued an amended CNDRP for consultation. Among other proposed changes, the amended CNDRP proposed to extend this time bar from 2 years to 3 years. The consultation period ended on 9 June 2019. The time bar under CNDRP has now been extended to 3 years – implemented, since 18 June 2019.
We see this as a positive development for brand owners.
Whilst the CNDRP is still unique in having a time bar, the extension of this time bar at least provides some more flexibility in terms of timing for complainants to initiate complaints.
Although the proposed amendments are silent on the retrospective effect of the new rules, the general wording of the amended CNDRP should mean that this new 3-year time bar applies to both .CN domain names registered before or after the amendments came into effect.