As a trademark owner, you’ve probably learned of the benefits of registering your trademark in China. Whether you have existing customers in Shanghai or you are looking to manufacture your product in Beijing, your business could benefit from Chinese trademark protection. The first step in this process is to conduct a China trademark database search. This will alert you to any current Chinese trademarks with exact or similar matches. There are resources available online, claiming to assist you, but it can be a challenge to understand how to get started. Consider the following information when you conduct your China trademark database search.
Why Conducting a Trademark Database Search in China is Important
The process to register a trademark in China is often long and tedious. Though the China Trademark Office, or CTMO, states that trademarks should be processed within 9 months, the typical length of time to register a trademark in China is usually 12 months, and in some cases, longer. The purpose of performing a China trademark database search is to determine whether or not your trademark is available to register in China before you begin the lengthy process of registering.
Another benefit of conducting a China trademark database search is to determine if anyone has filed a bad faith registration of your trademark. Because China is a first-to-file country, virtually anyone can be granted the rights to a trademark if they are the first to file for registration. Unfortunately, this has become a lucrative business for some, who will register a trademark with the intended use of ransoming the mark to its rightful owner at a later date. If your China trademark database search reveals a squatter has already registered your trademark, you will at least know the road ahead could be difficult and can confer with your trademark attorney on the best approach moving forward.