China has a famous negative reputation in copying and counterfeiting brands and products. Foreign companies increasingly want to make China one of their major market, as more than 30 % of the valid registrations were from foreign companies according to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) in the first half of 2019. The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), renamed in 2018 State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), published recently the fourth amendment of the Chinese Trademark Law that entered into force on the 1st of November 2019.
Companies producing and/or selling in China are strongly recommended to obtain a trademark registration in order to avoid third parties to obtain the rights before; the "first-to-file" system counts. That means that the first who registers the trademark is considered as the lawful owner, so it’s important to apply for the trademark protection as quickly as possible. There are only three situations where the trademark can be revoked: if the registration was made in bad faith; if there is a similar well-known brand and there could be a misleading for the customers; or if the trademark hasn’t been used for three years since the registration.
For the registration, there are two ways:
1. the international registration system, and
2. the national registration system.