At the December 22nd, 2016 Working Conference on National Industry, Commerce and Market Supervision, Mr. Zhang Mao, Director of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, presented China’s 2016 trademark data and examined 2017 trademark policy trends.

China’s 2016 trademark data is as follows:

1. 3.326 million trademark registration applications were filed and 2.85 million trademark reviews were filed during the first 11 months of 2016.

2. 1,340,000 trademark review applications were filed and 103,000 applications were reviewed during the first 11 months of 2016.

3. 25,000 trademark regulatory cases worth 340 million RMB were prosecuted during the first 11 months of 2016.

4. The Trademark Office handled 1,202 pledge registration applications and offered 57.63 billion RMB in assisted business financing in 2016.

Trademark protection in China is plagued with the following problems:

5. Lack of international trademarks. Despite the fact that more trademark applications are filed in China than any other jurisdiction in the world, the number of trademark applications per million people is still relatively low. Only 4% of China’s trademarks are the subject of overseas trademark applications.

6. Few internationally known brands. Only two Chinese brands appeared in the list of 2016’s Best Global Brands published by a reputable global brand consulting organization, compared with 52 US brands. Additionally, there is a great disparity between the value of Chinese brands and the international average.

7. High incidence of trademark infringement. According to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) report on the quality improvement of China’s time-honored brands, trademark disputes, counterfeiting and infringements involving these brands have been increasing in recent years. Businesses seeking to protect their brands and their IPR face heavy workloads, high costs and extended time cycles.

In 2017 the following trademark administration trends are expected to emerge:

I. Simplifying the trademark registration system to intensify reform of the commercial system. Measures include:

1. Establishing 15 trademark registration application reception windows all over the country to broaden trademark application channels. Encouraging online applications to simplify and streamline procedures.

2. Abbreviating the trademark review cycle by, e.g. setting up a collaboration center for trademark review in Guangzhou in 2016.

3. Enhancing the protection of the administrative formulation of trademark rights and reducing litigation delays.

4. Strengthening trademark regulation and law enforcement efforts. Intensifying efforts against infringement and counterfeiting, and consolidating the protection of trademark rights.

II. Intensifying the implementation of trademark brand strategies by upgrading trademark brand innovation, signing trademark cooperation agreements with the Guangdong government and helping Guangzhou build a national innovation and venture base for trademark branding.

Via the SAIC. Original article: Intensifying Reforms and Innovation to Modernize Market Regulation