A draft amendment has been made to China’s Trademark Law which may require holder’s to certify their use of their mark every five years in order to keep their registration.
Article 61 of the draft revisions states:
“the trademark registrant shall, within twelve months after every five years from the date of approval of the registration of the trademark, explain to the administrative department of intellectual property under the State Council the use of the trademark on the approved goods or justifiable reasons for non-use.”
Under the current law, there is no requirement for the trade mark holder to demonstrate use of the mark after registration, unless of course the registration were to be challenged by another party and that party alleged non-use.
Should the amendment be approved, this will change the law to be similar to that in the United States which requires a declaration of use to be filed between the fifth and sixth year after registration. The requirement then shifts to every 10 years from first renewal. If the amendment to the law is approved in China, then the frequency of filing will be more than required the US.
Under the amended law, whilst a trade mark may be filed in China if there is no current use, there is a requirement that in order to keep the mark, it would have to be used within 6 years of registration. It is to be seen if the proposed amendment will be retained in to China’s Trademark Law.
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