(Adopted at the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Fifth National People's Congress on August 23, 1982
Amended according to the Decision on Amending the Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China at the 34th Session of the Standing Committee of the 7th National People's Congress on February 22, 1983 for the first time
Amended according to the Decision on Amending the Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China at the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the 9th National People's Congress on October 27, 2001 for the second time)
Chapter I General Provisions
Chapter II Application for Trademark Registration
Chapter III Examination and Approval of Trademark Registration
Chapter IV Renewal, Assignment and Licensing of Registered Trademarks
Chapter V Determination of Disputes Concerning Registered Marks
Chapter VI Administration of the Use of Trademarks
Chapter VII Protection of the Right to Exclusive Use of a Registered Trademark
Chapter VIII Supplementary Provisions
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 This Law is formulated for the purpose of improving the administration of trademarks, protecting the right to exclusive use of trademarks and encouraging producers and operators to guarantee the quality of their goods and services and maintain the reputation of their trademarks, so as to protect the interests of consumers and of producers and operators, and to promote the development of the socialist market economy.
Article 2 The Trademark Office of the administrative department for industry and commerce under the State Council shall be in charge of the trademark registration and administration throughout the country.
The administrative department for industry and commerce under the State Council shall establish a Trademark Review and Adjudication Board to be responsible for handling trademark disputes.
Article 3 Registered trademarks are those that have been approved and registered by the Trademark Office, including commodity trademarks, service trademarks, collective marks and certification marks; trademark registrants shall be entitled to the right to exclusive use of their trademarks and shall be protected by law.
Collective marks used in this Law shall refer to the marks that are registered in the name of groups, associations or other organizations and that are provided to the members of the said organizations for business activity use, thus to indicate the membership of the users in the said organizations.
Certification marks used in this Law shall refer to the marks that are controlled by the organizations with supervising power over some kind of commodities or services yet are used by the units or individuals apart from the said organizations on their commodities or services, thus to certificate the origins, raw materials, manufacturing methods, quality or other specific characteristics of the said commodities or services.
The special matters concerning the registration and administration of collective marks and certification marks shall be provided for by the department for industry and commerce under the State Council.
Article 4 Any natural person, legal person or other organization that needs to acquire the right to exclusive use of a trademark for the commodities it produces, manufactures, processes, selects or markets shall file an application for commodity trademark registration with the Trademark Office.
Any natural person, legal person or other organization that needs to acquire the right to exclusive use of a trademark for the service items it provides shall file an application for service trademark registration with the Trademark Office.
The provisions of this Law relating to commodity trademarks shall be applicable to the service trademarks.
Article 5 Two or more natural persons, legal persons or other organizations may jointly apply to the Trademark Office for the registration of the same trademark, and enjoy and exercise the right to exclusive use of that trademark jointly.
Article 6 With respect to the commodities that the state has designated as requiring the use of a registered trademark, an application for trademark registration must be filed; the commodities may not be sold on the market before the registration is granted.
Article 7 The user of a trademark shall be responsible for the quality of the commodities on which the trademark is used. The administrative departments for industry and commerce at all levels shall, by means of trademark administration, stop any practices that deceive the consumers.
Article 8 An application for trademark registration may be filed for any visible mark including word, design, letter, number, 3D (three-dimension) mark or color combination, or the combination of the elements above mentioned, that can distinguish the commodities of the natural person, legal person or other organization from those of others.
Article 9 The trademark for which an application for registration is filed shall have distinctive characteristics easy to identify, and may not conflict with the legal rights acquired by others in priority.
A trademark registrant has the right to mark the words "Registered trademark" or a sign indicating that the trademark is registered.
Article 10 The following marks may not be used as trademarks:
1) those identical with or similar to the national name, national flag, national emblem, military flag or medals of the People's Republic of China, as well as those identical with the names of the specific sites or the names and designs of the symbol buildings of the places where the central government agencies are located;
2) those identical with or similar to the national name, national flag, national emblem or military flag of any foreign country, except with the consent of the government of that country;
3) those identical with or similar to the name, flag, or emblem of any intergovernmental international organization, except with the consent of that organization and those unlikely to mislead the public;
4) those identical with or similar to the official marks, inspection marks that indicate the controlling or providing guarantee, except with authorization;
5) those identical with or similar to the name or symbol of the Red Cross or the Red Crescent;
6) those having the nature of discrimination against any nationality;
7) those constituting exaggerated advertising and are deceitful; and
8) those detrimental to socialist morality or customs, or having other harmful influences.
The place names of the administrative districts at the level of county or above or the foreign place names known by the public may not be used as trademarks. However, the place names that have other meanings and those used as part of a collective mark or certification mark are exceptional; the registered trademarks that use place names shall continue to be valid.
Article 11 The following marks may not be registered as trademarks:
1) those only having the generic names, designs and models of the commodities concerned;
2) those simply directly indicating the quality, main raw materials, functions, use, weight, quantity or other characteristics of the commodities concerned; and
3) those lacking distinctive characteristics.
If the marks listed in the preceding paragraph have, through usage, obtained distinctive characteristics and can be easily identified, they may be registered as trademarks.
Article 12 In case of application for trademark registration on 3D marks, the registration shall not be granted if the figures are generated simply by the nature of the commodities, the commodity figures are needed for technical effects or the figures make the commodities become substantially valuable.
Article 13 If a trademark, for which an application for registration is filed, of the same or similar commodity is the copy, imitation or translation of a well-known trademark of others which hasn't been registered in China, and misleads the public and leads to possible damage to the interests of the registrant of that well-known trademark, it shall not be registered and shall be prohibited from use.
If a trademark, for which an application for registration is filed, of a different or dissimilar commodity is the copy, imitation or translation of a well-known trademark of others which has been registered in China, and misleads the public and leads to possible damage to the interests of the registrant of that well-known trademark, it shall not be registered and shall be prohibited from use.
Article 14 The following factors shall be taken into consideration in the determination of well-known trademarks:
1) how well is that trademark known by the relevant public;
2) the period during which that trademark has been in use;
3) the period, extent and geographic scope of any publicity of that trademark;
4) the record of protection of that trademark as a well-known trademark; and
5) other factors for which that trademark is well-known.
Article 15 If an agent or a representative registers the trademark of the principal or the represented in his/her own name without authorization, the trademark shall not be registered and shall be prohibited from use upon the opposition raised by the principal or the represented.
Article 16 If a trademark contains the geographic mark of the commodities while the commodities don't come from the region indicated by that mark, and thus misleads the public, the trademark shall not be registered and shall be prohibited from use; however, those that have been registered in good faith shall continue to be valid.
The geographic mark mentioned in the preceding paragraph refers to the mark that indicates the region the commodities come from. And the specific quality, reputation or other characteristics of the said commodities are determined mainly by the natural factors or human cultural factors of that region.
Article 17 Where a foreigner or a foreign enterprise applies for trademark registration in China, the matter shall be handled in accordance with any agreement concluded between the country to which the applicant belongs and the People's Republic of China, or any international treaty to which both countries are parties, or on the basis of the principle of reciprocity.
Article 18 Where a foreigner or a foreign enterprise applies for trademark registration or deals with other trademark matters in China, it shall entrust an organization certified by the Chinese Government as having the qualification for trademark agency to act on its behalf.
Chapter II Application for Trademark Registration
Article 19 An applicant for trademark registration shall report, in accordance with the prescribed classification of commodities, the class of the commodities and the designation of the commodities on which the trademark is to be used.
Article 20 If an applicant intends to apply for the registration of the same trademark on the commodities in different classes, it shall submit separate applications for registration in accordance with the classification of commodities.
Article 21 If a registered trademark needs to be used on other commodities of the same class, a new application for registration shall be filed.
Article 22 If the mark of a registered trademark needs to be changed, a new application for registration shall be filed.
Article 23 If a change needs to be made in the name, address or any other registered matter concerning the registrant of a registered trademark, an application to m