China has developed a comparatively comprehensive IPR protection system since it opened up it’s doors to the world. Though China learned a lot from other countries in the development of the IPR system, it still has it’s own feature, which is worthwhile to know about:
Understanding the IPR system in China is very important to protect your IPR in China.
1. Protection only cover registered IPR
If you have not officially registered your IPR yet, such as patents, trademarks in China, you cannot enforce them.
2. Protection only granted from the date of registration
Your IPR is unprotected during the period between filing and registration. You can only start enforcement procedures once formal registration has been finished.
3. IPR is territorial
This means that IPR registered in China is only protected in the territory of China and therefore is not protected out of China, and vice versa.
4. Patents and trademarks can be extended internationally
China is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Madrid System administered by WIPO. It means that you could extend your patents and trademarks application at your local IP office to China instead of applying for them in China directly.
1) Invention patents, utility models and design patents are registered by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).
2) Trademarks are registered by the China Trademark Office (CTMO).
3) Copyrights are registered by the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC)
6. Utility models
Utility models have widely used forms of patents in China and are granted faster and require no substantial examination.
1) Only trademarks which are made up of words, graphics, a combination of both or 3D marks are recognized in China, China does not recognize scent trademarks.
2）Although it is not required by Chinese laws，but if you want to sell products in China, it’s strongly recommended that register a Chinese trademark at the same time.
3）Trade mark registration can take up to one and a half years
4）China uses the International Classification of Goods and Services which is divided into 45 classes. Additionally, each of the 45 classes is divided into subclasses.
5）If you wish to register a trademark in several different classes, a separate trademark application for each class should be filed.
For more info about trademark registration in China, pls check: Two Ways of Trademark Registration in China, Trademark Registration in China – Procedure
1）Designs need to be registered as design patents to be protected
To qualify for protection, a design cannot be previously published and must be sufficiently distinguishable from other designs. Only after formal registration can you enforce your rights to a design.
2） Registered designs are protected for 10 years
A design patent gives you the exclusive right to use or allow others to use your design in China for 10 years.
Copyright is protected from the date of creation. Though registration of copyright is not required for claiming protection, it will reduce the trouble in preparing evidence.
10. Customs registration
For customs to monitor your products, you must register your IPR with Chinese Customs. Registration lasts for 10 years or until the IPR expires.
Source: Sophie Mao from ChinaLawHelp.com