China: Changes in trademark application
Read our recommendations regarding the recently allowed multiclass applications and adoption of 10th Nice Classification
In may 2014 there where some changes in China trademark regulations. Below are two important aspects that need to pay attention to.
I. Strict goods/services description
It seems that the China Trademark Office now only accepts goods/services of the tenth Nice Classification. Class title or new goods/services can hardly be accepted.
The Trademark Office allows applicants to rectify their goods/services once, when the Office considers goods/services of new applications are not acceptable. Then, rectification is either accepted or rejected, and applicants have no other chance to argue because it is in the formality checking stage.
It is not bad that applicants have an opportunity to rectify their applications, but for applications through Madrid system, applications are refused on substantive ground and can only review with the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board. Worse, because international applications must be of the same of their applications in countries of origin, goods/services cannot be rectified but deleted during the review.
Before the effective of new Trademark Law, the Office accepted almost all descriptions of goods /services of applications through Madrid, but now the situation has changed. For foreign applicants, direct applications in China might be a better way.
II. Multiple classes trademark application in China
For multiple classes application, we would say no.
Firstly, when assigning a trademark, all classes of the application must be transferred together. At least it is the current situation. Now, division of trademark application happens only when an application is partially rejected, the applicant can choose to divide the application to allow approved parts to be published then registered being given a new trademark number, while the refused parts enter into time lasting review phase or simply being given up. However, trademark application division is not applicable to any other situation.
Secondly, multiple classes application does not help to save filing fees, official fees are still calculated by classes and no discount for additional classes.
And that is why we highly recommend single class application instead of multiple classes application.