On January 1, 2017, the Supreme People's Court issued the Provisions on Several Issues concerning the Trial of Administrative Cases Involving the Granting and Ownership Determination of Trademark Rights (the "Provisions"), which shall come into force as of March 1, 2017.
The Provisions consist of 31 articles, touching upon the scope of examination, judgement of distinguishing features, protection of wellknown trademarks, protection of prior rights such as the copyright and the right of name, and other substantial contents, and also providing for such procedural contents as the violation of due procedures and the ne bis in idem principle. All these contents clarify both important issues arising in administrative cases involving the granting and ownership determination of trademark rights and difficulties in judicial practices. The Provisions include various contents. The first is to clearly define the boundaries between articles of law in accordance with original legislative intent of the trademark law so as to apply laws in a better way; the second is to advocate the principle of good faith, protect prior rights, curb pre-emptive registration behaviours, maintain good order for trademark applications and granting; the third is to focus on the latest developments of industries and uniform the standards on law application based on the existing provisions of laws as the fundamental principles; the fourth is to play the function of judicial examination, redouble efforts to settle disputes in substance and improve the efficiency in the granting and ownership determination of trademarks, in consideration of characteristics of cases involving the granting and ownership determination of trademark rights.