China trademark registration certificate

Protecting your own brand in China is an essential formality for all entrepreneurs preparing to do business with Chinese partners. This issue should be addressed in advance by companies planning to import from China, as well as those whose development plans include the sale of goods or services beyond the Great Wall. Trademark registration is particularly important as, in today’s market, the largest Chinese e-commerce platforms will only allow companies to sell if they have a trademark registration certificate issued locally by the China Trademark Office. It is in the interest of business owners to obtain trademark protection, confirmed by an appropriate registration certificate, before officially entering the Chinese market. At Trademark Partners, we ensure that foreign companies looking to expand beyond the Great Wall receive comprehensive, substantive due diligence at every stage of this process.

What does a Trademark Registration Certificate contain?

The main purpose of a Trademark Registration Certificate is to specify the duration of the acquired trademark rights, which in China are granted for 10 years from the date of registration of the trademark with the local patent office. The document therefore contains the exact start and end dates of the protection period. If a company intends to apply for an extension of the trademark registration certificate, it should file an application with the Trademark Office in a timely manner. The Trademark Registration Certificate issued by the China Trademark Office indicates the registration number of the trademark, the person in whose name it is registered, and the class of goods and services for which the trademark is protected in China.

What are the benefits of a Trademark Protection Certificate in China?

When preparing to trade with the Middle Kingdom, it is important to remember that China operates on a “first to file” basis. For foreign entrepreneurs, this means that anyone has the right to apply for protection of a particular trademark. This means that a company’s competitor, customer, supplier or even a complete outsider can apply for a trademark if they are the first to do so. That is why it is so important for the entrepreneur to have a Trademark Registration Certificate, thanks to which he becomes the rightful owner of the trademark under Chinese law.

​A Trademark Protection Certificate is therefore proof of trademark registration in mainland China and is an important document that not only enables contact with the Chinese authorities, but also the rapid initiation of administrative or customs proceedings in the event of possible trademark infringement. The existence of a CTM registration certificate in China entitles the rightful owner of the mark to take any action to protect its interests and to effectively enforce its rights before administrative authorities and courts.

Thus, it can be seen that the main advantage of having a Trademark Registration Certificate is the possibility of unrestricted export or import, or the legal protection of the trademark against the need to repurchase the rights to the trademark in the event of its registration in bad faith by unauthorised persons.

How to obtain a Trademark Registration Certificate in China?

The Chinese Patent Office issues a trademark registration certificate at the final stage of the registration process. On the other hand, if there is a need to obtain a Chinese registration certificate for a trademark filed in an international procedure, or if the interested party who has acquired the rights to the trademark needs to obtain this document as a result of the trademark transfer procedure, it will be issued upon the application of the owner listed in the trademark register.

In order to obtain a certificate of trademark protection, an application must be made in advance to the Chinese office, which can only be done through a professional representative. The Trademark Protection Certificate is usually issued by the Office approximately two months from the date of filing.

Cost of obtaining a Trademark Registration Certificate in China

The cost of obtaining a Trademark Registration Certificate in China depends largely on the number of classes in which a particular trademark is registered. Therefore, the final price of this procedure depends on the individual situation of each company, which is why at Trademark Partners we determine this question after analysing all the relevant details.

​However, what all entrepreneurs should bear in mind when establishing business contacts with Chinese partners is that it is not worth delaying the filing of an application for re-registration and, at the final stage, the issuance of a Trademark Registration Certificate. We have seen cases where postponing this formality, for example until the first order has been placed, has worked to the company’s disadvantage and contributed to the need to initiate numerous costly and lengthy procedures to recover trademark rights.

As experienced specialists at Trademark Partners, we advise foreign entrepreneurs to obtain a trademark protection certificate in China as soon as possible. We work closely with local Chinese legal advisors and certified trademark specialists, enabling us to complete all formalities quickly and efficiently, so that our clients can be confident that their trademark interests are properly protected in China.