CNIPA has been committed to protecting the rights of trademark holders and preventing malicious trademark registration. Recently CNIPA issued a notification regarding malicious registration, which has become a growing concern for businesses and trademark holders.
To address the malicious registration issue, CNIPA published a work plan, aiming to consolidate the results of combating malicious trademark registrations in recent years, deepen the governance of malicious trademark registrations, and maintain the order of trademark registration management.
The plan includes several measures that will enhance the ability of the trademark office to prevent and address malicious trademark registration behavior.
The key measures of the work plan are as follows.
l Focus on combating the trademarks containing adverse influence and obvious deception.
CNIPA will enhance its disposal system to discover and report trademarks with major adverse influence. Additionally, there will be an increased focus on strengthening the rules of trademark invalidation for trademarks with major adverse influence and the rules in the substantive examination, opposition, and review procedures. Furthermore, CNIPA will intensify the crackdown on obviously deceptive trademarks, and prevent and investigate the implementation of false descriptions, exaggerated functions, and other deceptive and misleading behavior of the public through the trademark application procedure.
l Crackdown on malicious trademark squatting.
CNIPA will strictly implement Article 3 and Article 4 of the "Several Provisions on Standardizing Application for Trademark Registration", and take measures such as early examination and trial, concurrent examination and trial, and oral trial of major cases in the trademark opposition examination and trademark invalidation trial procedures. To applicants who violate Article 13, Article 15, and Article 32 of the Trademark Law, their trademarks shall not be registered or shall be invalidated. To those trademark applicants and agencies, CNIPA may forward the clues to the relevant departments for further investigation in accordance with the law.
l Crackdown on malicious trademark hoarding
In order to address the issue of malicious trademark hoarding, CNIPA will make revisions to the relevant operating procedures for trademark registration, opposition, review, transfer and other procedures to identify malicious hoarding of trademarks, and will also institutionalize and standardize the whole process of combating malicious hoarding of trademarks. Furthermore, CNIPA will improve the list of key monitoring of the perpetrators of malicious trademark registration without the purpose of use through the whole process of trademark registration, in order to achieve identification and target disposal of malicious trademark hoarding behavior.
l Efforts to strengthen trademark agency supervision.
CNIPA will implement the re-registration rules for trademark agencies and practitioners, strictly implement the conditions of registration and strengthen business management. Additionally, CNIPA will press forward with the supervision and management work, focusing on the trademark agency practitioners. CNIPA will also strengthen the real-name management of practitioners for the record, improve the signature information collection system, and effectively implement the responsibility of illegal agents to the person, which will continuously strengthen the self-discipline of the trademark agency industry.
l Establish a credit commitment system for trademark registration.
CNIPA will establish a credit commitment system for trademark authorization and confirmation procedures and clarify the scope of application and credit commitment matters. For parties who violate the commitment, according to law, they should bear the adverse results of the review and trial. In cases where parties have obtained trademark registration through deceptive means or serious breaches of trust, their registered trademarks will be declared to be invalid in accordance with the law.
Overall, the work plan for systematic governance of malicious trademark registration is an important step toward protecting the rights of trademark holders and preventing malicious registration behavior. The systematic governance of malicious trademark registration requires trademark applicant to be proactive in selecting legitimate and trustworthy trademark agencies. By working with reputable professionals who adhere to ethical standards and strict regulations can safeguard your intellectual property rights and avoid falling victim to deceptive practices. If you have any questions regarding IP matters in China, please feel free to contact us.