Is Chinese trademark registration certificate valid also in Taiwan?

Although Taiwan has few natural resources, it has established itself as a high-tech economy. Taiwan’s GDP per capita for 2023 (at current prices) is $32.3 thousand, which is roughly equivalent to the GDP per capita of a resident of Spain. The island’s inhabitants, who speak traditional Chinese every day, are valuable consumers for companies from all over the world. As a result, international businesses have been keen to work with Taiwanese companies for decades. Whether it is buying under their brand name for electronics, for example, or selling products under their international brand name.

Trademark registration in Taiwan

Regardless of the business model chosen, the question of trademark protection remains. And in the context of Taiwan, where should the trademark be registered? Does the certificate of registration of the trademark in mainland China document the protection in Taiwan?

The answer is no, a Chinese trademark registration certificate in China is not a confirmation of protection in Taiwan. Taiwan and Mainland China are separate jurisdictions for trademarks. This means that Taiwan has its own intellectual property law. The registration process itself is slightly different from the process of obtaining trademark protection in China. More specifically, in Taiwan the process is as follows: after the application has been filed and examined, if there are no refusals, the mark is registered. Only then is the trademark published, i.e. the registration information is available to everyone.

Publication is the start of what is known as the opposition period, during which an interested party can file an opposition. In China, however, it is the other way round – only after the opposition period has elapsed will the application be registered, if no opposition has been filed.

Is it necessary to have a Chinese version of the trademark in Taiwan?

Despite these differences, there is one very important similarity. This is the widespread use of characters in Chinese transcription. Chinese is the official language of mainland China and Taiwan, the former a simplified language and the latter a traditional language. Both languages are similar to each other as they come from the same calligraphic and literary tradition. Therefore, foreign brands very often develop Chinese equivalents in order to communicate more effectively with local consumers and also to enable companies to better protect their trademarks. It should be added that the law does not require the use of the Chinese version of the mark, nor does it prohibit the use of the mark in Latin script.

In summary, Taiwan has different trademark regulations, so it is necessary to file a local trademark application regardless of filing a trademark application in mainland China. The most effective method is to work with a professional attorney, such as Trademark Partners, to file for protection at the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO). In addition, you should consider creating a Chinese equivalent of your mark to better reach the Taiwanese consumer.

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