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      China Trade Mark Office slashing of fees

      Published on 31 Mar 2017 | 2 minute read

      But is this good news for brand owners?

      The Ministry of Finance of China announced that from 1 April 2017, the official trade mark application fees will be reduced by 50%.  The China Trade Mark Office (CTMO) released the detailed fees schedule which shows that official fees from filing to opposition have been halved (see attached chart).

      The reduction of fees is in line with the Chinese Government’s IP Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) which aims to elevate China to a country strong in IP assets.  One strategy is to make obtaining a trade mark registration increasingly convenient.  To implement this plan, the CTMO set up two Trade Mark Examination Cooperation Centres in Beijing and Guangzhou, and opened 54 counters throughout the country to receive new trade mark applications.  The CTMO also plans to simplify the requirements for online filing.  

      At the end of 2016, there were 12 million valid trade marks on the Chinese register, with 3.7 million new applications submitted in 2016 alone.  From a cost perspective, no doubt all brand owners will welcome lower official fees.  However, another consequence of lower official fees and more convenient ways to file applications is the expected increase in the number of new trade mark filings - which may reach a new peak this year!  Since less investment is required, trade mark squatters are likely to be even more willing to file bad faith applications.  Moreover, since the CTMO is already stretched for time given the high volume of cases and tight statutory timelines to complete the examination of cases (9 months for new applications, 12 months for oppositions), it is feared that the quality of decisions would be adversely affected.  Overtime, improvements will be made, but uncertainty in the short term will prove  unsatisfactory for legitimate brand owners.

       

      Notice of Adjustment of Schedule of Fees for Trade Mark Registration

      In accordance with Finance and Taxation Document No. 20 of the Department of Treasury and National Development and Reform Commission, the fees concerning trade mark registration will decrease by 50% from 1 April 2017.  The detailed Schedule of Fees is as follows:

       

      Charges

      Fees

      Trade mark application

       

      CNY 300 (up to 10 items in one class) CNY 30 (each additional item above 10 items)

      Re-issuance of registration certificate

      CNY 500 (including fee for publishing declaration of loss of certificate)

      Application of recordal of assignment

      CNY 500

      Application for renewal of one registration

      CNY 1000

      Late filing charges for renewal of one registration

      CNY 250

      Application for trademark  review (refusal appeal, opposition appeal, non-use cancellation appeal,  invalidation)

      CNY 750

      Recordal of change of name/address for one mark

      CNY 250

      Issuance of Chinese registration certificate for Madrid International Registration

      CNY 50

      Application for a collective trademark

      CNY 1500

      Application for a certification trademark

      CNY 1500

      Trademark opposition

      CNY 500

      Rectification of one pending application or one registration; non-use cancellation

      CNY 250

      Recordal of trademark license agreement 

      CNY 150

       

      China Trade Mark Office

      30 March 2017

      30% Complete
      Rouse Editor
      Editor
      +44 20 7536 4100
      Rouse Editor
      Editor
      +44 20 7536 4100