On April 23, 2019, the Tenth Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress passed a decision to amend the Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China. The revised Trademark Law will be implemented on November 1, 2019. This amendment strengthens the protection of intellectual property rights, guides the positive development of the industry, and returns the trademark to its essence and value.
First, the amended law regulates malicious applications and hoarding registrations, etc., and adds the content of malicious registrations:
- To enhance the use obligation of the registration applicant's trademark registration, the first paragraph of Article 4 adds the regulation, “The trademark registration application shall be rejected if it is not for use”.
- To enhance the obligation of the trademark agency, the paragraph 3 of Article 19 adds that the trademark agency knows or should know that the client’s application for the registered trademark belongs to “application for trademark registration is not for using”, and the application will not be accepted.
- To move forward the regulatory gate of malicious registrations, the paragraph 1 of Article 33 and Article 44 adds that the application for trademark registration is not for using, and the application is applied or accepted by trademark agency illegally will be put into opposition procedure and invalidation procedure, and used as the standard to propose the trademark opposition and invalidate the registered trademark.
- Article 68 adds the administrative penalties on the trademark agency whose application for trademark registration is not for using, the trademark agency who knows the client does not apply trademark registration for using, and the malicious application for trademark registration.
Second, the amended law increases the punishment for violations of trademark exclusive rights.
- With respect to the violation of trademark exclusive rights, in paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 63, the multiple of the amount of compensation for malicious infringement of trademark exclusive rights increases between 2-3 times more to 2-5 times more, and the maximum amount of statutory compensation increases from ¥3,000,000 to ¥5,000,000 to give the obligee sufficient compensation.
- To strengthen the punishment for the products with counterfeit registered trademarks, and its main materials and tools, the paragraph 4 and 5 added in Article 63, if People’ Court hears trademark dispute cases, it may require the destruction of the products with counterfeit registered trademarks upon oblige’s request, except in special circumstance; People’s Court may require the destruction of the materials and tools used to manufacture the products with counterfeit registered trademarks without compensation; or, in special circumstance, People’s Court may prohibit the aforementioned materials and tools entering the commercial channels without compensation. The products with counterfeit registered trademarks are not allowed to enter commercial channels after only removal of counterfeit registered trademarks.