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INTA Weighs In on Implementing Regulations to China Trademark Law

20-Feb-2014 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 4028
New York, NY - The International Trademark Association (INTA)  submitted comments on February 7 to China’s State Council Legislative Affairs Office (SCLAO) congratulating the government on its third Trademark Law Revision, which will take effect on May 1, 2014, and offering recommendations to further clarify its draft Implementing Regulations for the law. The Association was joined by several other organizations in suggesting improvements that would provide more certainty for trademark owners.

INTA’s main recommendations include:

• Extending the proposed deadlines for submissions in order to take into consideration the time burden of the parties.

• Creating greater transparency in the opposition procedure given recent changes that have eliminated appeals of a negative opposition.

• Providing clear definitions for “serious” infringement for the purposes of administrative fines.

• Providing clear guidelines on determining “heavier fines” for large-scale or sustained infringements.

In addition, INTA’s comments encouraged clarifying the Implementing Regulations to more fully explain how Article 7 of the new Trademark Law Revision, which requires applicants for trademark registration to abide by the principle of “good faith,” will specifically address the issue of “bad faith” registrations.

The new law includes a general provision stating that trademark applications should be submitted in good faith, and expands upon several provisions relating to bad-faith registration. These include provisions targeting trademark agents who act in bad faith and applicants for marks that are identical or similar to an existing trademark when the applicant has had a “prior relationship” to the trademark owner. However, the Implementing Regulations fail to address how this good-faith clause will affect bad-faith registration on a practical level.

The period for public comment on the Implementing Regulations closed on February 10. INTA looks forward to seeing the final version of the regulations, and to commenting on the judicial interpretations of the law, which are still being drafted. The Association is also working on comments to China’s Trademark Review and Adjudication Board rules, which are due on March 11.

China’s new trademark law is a major step forward and will help to ensure that trademark owners can effectively enforce and defend their rights, which will in turn protect consumers and promote fair and effective commerce.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.
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