China opens its door for Trademark Protection in respect of sale services for certain products

We have the pleasure to inform you that Chinese Trademark Office (Called hereinafter, the Office) becomes more flexible in its doctrine, and accepts trademark protection in respect of wholesale or retail services for certain products.

Of course, the Office will not change its general practices in a global way. In fact, the Office still maintains its opposition for refusing registrations of trademarks, which designate “wholesale and retail services” per se in class 35.

After all, the above-mentioned reform has already been a significant progress of the Office, so as to improve protection of the trademark holders.

Certainly, according to our experiences with the Office, we are able to obtain an efficient protection for sale services in China (but via an adapted specification of services).

However, from January 1st, 2013, the generic designation “wholesale or retail services” will be acceptable for trademark registration in China,
And the above will be available only to pharmaceutical, medical, sanitary and veterinary products.

In this respect, a sub-class (3509) is added to “Chinese classification of similar goods and services”, in which figure the following 7 new services:

  •  Wholesale or retail services for pharmaceutical, veterinary, sanitary preparation, and medical treatment products;

  • Wholesale or retail services for medicines;
  •  Wholesale or retail services for pharmaceutical preparation;
  • Wholesale or retail services for sanitary preparation;
- Wholesale or retail services for medical treatment products;

  • Wholesale or retail services for veterinary medicines;
  • Wholesale or retail services for veterinary preparation.

Furthermore, the Office decides to set up a transition period so as to protect the interest of the trademark applicants.

In this respect: all trademark applications designating the above-listed services, filed between January 1st, to January 31st, 2013, will be deemed as filed on the same date. And, during this period, if two or several persons apply for identical trademark application for the above-listed services, the trademark application will be granted to the applicant, among other, who is able to prove that he used the mark first. In this matter,

China adopts the principal of “First Used First Served”.

We will remain at your entire disposition to assist you in your IP projects.