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Do I Need to Register My Trademark in China? - CTD 101 Series

Thu, 04 Aug 2022
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌
Editor: C. J. Observer

If your product will enter the Chinese market sooner or later, you’d better register your trademark in China.

This post was first published in CJO GLOBAL, which is committed to providing consulting services in China-related cross-border trade risk management and debt collection. We will explain how debt collection works in China below. 

Otherwise, once you intend to penetrate the Chinese market, you will find that you can no longer use your trademark because a trademark squatter may have acquired your trademark.

In addition, even if you do not intend to penetrate the Chinese market, we suggest that you register your trademark in China as well, as Chinese consumers probably show interest in your products.

You can’t expect Chinese consumers to buy and use counterfeit products because of their love for your products, right?

From time to time, we received questions like ‘Is my trademark protected in China?’.

Well, the answer is plain and simple. ‘Yes’, if your trademark is registered in China, otherwise, ‘No’. (Please note the answer ‘No’ applies in most cases, except for well-known trademarks, but that’s another story.)

The reason behind this is that trademarks are territorial and must be filed in each country where protection is sought.

In other words, if your trademark is not registered in China, or, to put it another way, you do not own a trademark in China, you cannot fully protect your trademark in China. More specifically, if you do not register your brand or logo as a trademark in China and the trademark has been registered by someone else in China, you cannot use the logo or brand in China and cannot claim infringement by someone else.

1. How to register a trademark in China?

You have two options:

Option one: local application in China

You may apply for trademark registration directly to China’s Trademark Office. All

you need to do is to entrust a Chinese trademark agency.

Option two: international application

If you already have a trademark in your country, you may seek registration in China by filing an international application according to the Madrid Protocol with the International Bureau of the World Property Intellectual Organization (WIPO), through your country’s trademark registration authority, since China has joined the Madrid Protocol.

2. Please value your priority

If you have registered the trademark in your country, within six months, you have priority when you register the trademark in China. This will prevent your trademark from being registered by someone else in China.

Under China’s Trademark Law, if you file another application for registration of the same trademark in China within six months from the date of your first application for trademark registration in another country, you can claim priority in China.

This means that during the six months, you are still entitled to the trademark even if you apply for trademark registration later than someone else.

So, you’d better apply for a Chinese trademark within the priority period.



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Photo by Nic Low on Unsplash


Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

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