China’s National Intellectual Property Administration Announces Rapid 20-Day Trademark Application Examination Program

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On January 18, 2022, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released the Measures for Rapid Examination of Trademark Applications (for Trial Implementation) (商标注册申请快速审查办法(试行)) that provides for examination of certain trademark applications within 20 days of approval of a request to participate. The Measures are effective immediately.

Per Article 2 of the Measures, trademark applications under the following circumstances are eligible:

(1) It involves the names of major national or provincial projects, major projects, major scientific and technological infrastructure, major events, major exhibitions, etc., and the protection of the trademark is urgent;

(2) During the period of public emergencies such as especially major natural disasters, especially major accident disasters, especially major public health incidents, and especially major social security incidents, it is directly related to the response to such public emergencies;

(3) In order to serve the high-quality economic and social development, it is indeed necessary to promote the implementation of the outline for building a strong intellectual property country;

(4) Others of great practical significance for safeguarding national interests, social public interests or major regional development strategies.

Per Article 3, the trademark application must meet the following conditions:

(1) Have the consent of all applicants;

(2) Apply electronically;

(3) The trademark applied for for registration consists only of words;

(4) The application is not for registration of collective trademarks and certification trademarks;

(5) The designated goods or service items are closely related to the situations listed in Article 2, and are the standard classes listed in the “Classification Table of Similar Goods and Services”;

(6) No priority claim has been made.

In addition, per Article 4, a recommendation from the relevant Chinese government department is needed. 

Accordingly, these measures may only be useful for foreign applicants applying via their Chinese branches (e.g., Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise).

Per Article 6, once approved, the CNIPA will conduct examination within 20 working days.

The full text and accompanying documents can be found here (Chinese only).

Author: Aaron Wininger

Aaron Wininger is a Senior Attorney and Director of China Intellectual Property at Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner.

Author: Aaron Wininger

Aaron Wininger is a Senior Attorney and Director of China Intellectual Property at Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner.