On December 29 2017 Zhang Mao, commissioner of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), delivered a keynote speech at the National Administration for Industry and Commerce and Market Supervision Conference, unveiling various 2017 statistics and the SAIC's new 2018 initiatives on trademark practice.
In 2017 the SAIC increased its efforts to facilitate the trademark registration process. Measures taken included:
- optimising the trademark examination and adjudication process;
- establishing three trademark examination cooperation centres in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chongqing, and opening 105 trademark application acceptance offices nationwide;
- extending trademark e-filing practice to cover more processes;
- expediting trademark examination and the review of refusal process to within an average of eight months;
- launching an online searchable database to ensure that all Trademark Review and Adjudication Board decisions are publicly available; and
- conducting oral hearings in trademark review and adjudication cases.
In respect of trademark practice, the SAIC has set out a list of new initiatives for 2018, which includes:
- researching the smart graphic search technique;
- a smart examination auxiliary system;
- an e-filing system for trademark review and adjudication processes; and
- a new trademark registration and administration office automation system;
- relaxing the accreditation of trademark application acceptance offices;
- improving the examination capacity of trademark examination cooperation centres;
- developing the open data initiative by ensuring that all trademark data is publicly available by the end of 2018;
- strengthening collaboration between trademark examination, opposition and review, and adjudication divisions and the judiciary to stem bad-faith filings;
- taking harsher action against trademark infringement, particularly in regard to offences involving:
- well-known trademarks;
- geographical indications;
- foreign trademarks; and
- registered trademarks of time-honoured brands; and
- promoting interdepartmental and cross-regional collaboration on trademark supervision and enforcement, and enhancing case-transferring mechanisms between the public security authorities and the judiciary.
The SAIC has also set objectives for:
- trademark applications to be examined within six months;
- filing receipts to be issued within one month;
- the blind trademark search period to be shortened to two months;
- trademark assignments to be completed within four months;
- trademark renewals and the modification of applications or registrations to be completed within two months; and
- trademark refusals to be reviewed within seven months.
For further information on this topic please contact Nan Jiang or Huimin Qin at Wanhuida Peksung by telephone (+86 10 6892 1000) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Wanhuida Peksung website can be accessed at www.wanhuida.com and www.peksung.com.
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