China has rapidly become a must-file jurisdiction for brand owners looking to do business within the world’s second largest economy, and those looking to protect their trademark assets in a marketplace known as one of the world’s largest sources of brand hijacking/counterfeiting. On May 1, 2014 the latest amendments to China’s Trademark Law will come into force, and many of these amendments will streamline the processing of trademark applications. In particular, we are pleased to note that China will be introducing an electronic trademark application filing system, and instituting multi-Class trademark applications. These changes are predicted to cut the time to registration to 12 months, and decrease the costs of filing in multiple Classes. We recommend that clients re-evaluate their portfolios, and see whether additional filings under the multi-Class system might help fill any holes in current coverage.

This article appeared in the March 2014 issue of MarkIt to Market. To view our past issues, as well as other firm newsletters, please click here.