Should I bother registering my trade mark in China?
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
If you have any prospect of business in China, it is wise to register your mark there before your business associates or competitors do so.
The first to file a trade mark application in China is the first in right to the trade mark. This is different to the situation in Australia, where the first to use a trade mark is first in right to the trade mark.
In addition to registering your mark in English, your should also register the phonetic equivalent in Chinese characters. If you only register the English version of your trade mark, then a third party could register the Chinese phonetic equivalent and prevent you from using it in China. In that instance, you could be sued in China for simply using the Chinese version of your trade mark.
The Chinese and English equivalents of the trade mark should be used in conjunction in China, wherever possible, so that the English version does not become vulnerable to revocation on the grounds of non-use.
It is possible to oppose or cancel a registration filed in bad faith by a related party, but not necessarily if the third party is not related.
In any event, it is far cheaper, easier, quicker and less risky to register a trade mark than to dispute some else's claim to ownership of your mark in China.
It is also possible to register the copyright in a logo for of your trade mark in China, which can provide an additional level of protection and facilitate counterfeit actions.
You can record your registered trade mark with Customs in China, so that Customs can check if any unauthorised imports or exports are made with your trade mark.
We are ready and able to help you secure your rights to your trade mark and copyright in China.