At a recent press conference on easing market entry and improving climate for doing business, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) announced the enactment of the Rules on Regulating Trademark Filing Acts, which was released in the form of SAMR Decree No.17 and will be in force from December 1.
According to SAMR Vice Minister Qin Yizhi, while executing the Trademark Law and the Rules, SAMR and China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) will continuously advance the trademark filing facilitation reform, aggressively strike the illegal acts corrupting trademark administration order and strive to generate a market climate featuring fair competition and good faith.
The amendment of the Trademark Law was approved by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on April 23 and will become law on November 1. The Rules is for better implementation of the Law. The 19 specific provisions in the Rules aim to regulate trademark filing acts from four aspects. First, set up a centralized provision on trademark filing and registration acts violating the principle of good faith that used to be peppered in multiple articles of the Law and the newly-added ones summed up from practice; provide specific guidelines for representation services of trademark firms; monitor during the whole filing procedure, sanction malicious trademark filing acts at every process and every stage of trademark examination and adjudication. Second, list the factors taken into consideration for examining malicious trademark filing acts and illegal representation acts; elevate operability and transparency of trademark examination. Third, aggressively sanction malicious trademark filing acts and illegal representation acts; set up a fine treble of illegal gains of the malicious trademark applicant and no more than 30,000 yuan; set up a maximum 100,000 yuan fine on trademark firms aiding malicious trademark filing and suspension of services if offense is deemed aggravated. Fourth, streamline trademark filing routes and procedures and make the system easier to use for applicants; elevate administration services.
A principal of CNIPA's Treaty and Law Department affirmed CNIPA's always-unwavering determination in tackling the issue on malicious trademark registration. The newly-established concrete measures at examination and ensuing stages have shifted the work targeting malicious registration to early stages of examination and can effectively curb trademark squatting acts. In 2018, CNIPA opposed a total of 100,000 irregular trademark applications at examination and opposition stages, effectively upholding the regular trademark registration order.