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What’s New in China’s 2019 Trademark Law Amendment

Updated:2020-3-5 10:04:24    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:345

The latest amendment to China’s Trademark Law took effective Novermber 1,2019, and the regulatory take into effect December 1,2019.

Two longstanding concerns of the business community in the country have been highlight in the regulatory guidelines. One is tackling bad faith trademark applications and intensifying the punishment for trademark infringement.

Prohibiting bad faith trademark fillings
The most significant change to Trademark Law is, which allows the China Trademark Office (CTO) to reject malicious trademark applications at the first step.

Increased legal compensation for trademark agencies
The new rules increase more responsibility in agencies shoulders. The article stipulates that a trademark agency prohibits to take over the cases if it is aware the trademark to be registered by a client in bad faith. Otherwise, the agency faces administrative penalties. If no rectification was made within the prescribed time limit, the trademark agency may face a fine raging from RMB 10,000 to 100,000. Individuals directly involved in the case may be given a warning and a fine raging from RMB 5,000 and 50,000. If the case commits a crime, it will be investigated by legal system.

Intensifies punishment for trademark infringement
The new regulation expands the extent of punitive damages of “malicious and serious” trademark infringement.
Except in “special circumstances”, at the request of the trademark holder, goods bearing counterfeit trademarks and the tools and materials used for manufacturing such goods can be destroyed without compensation upon judgment by the courts.

Foreign brand owners are advised to stay abreast of the latest developments and take advantage of the new amendment in opposition and invalidation proceedings if applicable. It is also advised to seek local expertise for help when the case becomes complicated.

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