Measures for Expedited Examination of Trademark Registration Applications in China (Trial Implementation)

April 2022

Joyce Wen

On January 14, 2022, the State Intellectual Property Office promulgated the Measures for Expedited Examination of Trademark Registration Applications (Trial Implementation) (the “Trial Measures”), which clarify the circumstances under which expedited examination of a trademark registration application may be requested, along with an explanation of the requirements.

The Trial Measures state that expedited examination can be requested in the following circumstances, including (1) the application involves the names of major construction projects, scientific and technological infrastructure, competitions and exhibitions, at the national or provincial level for which trademark protection is urgent; (2) a direct connection sudden public incidents such as particularly significant natural disasters, public health incidents and social security incidents; (3) the trademark is needed for the high-quality development of the economy and society, as well as the promotion of the implementation of the Guidelines for Building a Powerful Intellectual Property Rights Country; and (4) other circumstances with major practical implications to the maintenance of national interests, public and social interests or to major regional development strategies.

It should also be noted that, in addition to satisfying the above circumstances, the trademark registration application must also meet the following conditions: (1) the consent of all applicants is obtained; (2) the application is filed electronically; (3) the trademark applied for merely consists of text; (4) the registration application is not for a collective mark or certification mark; (5) the designated goods or services are closely related to the aforementioned circumstances, and are standard names listed in the Table for Differentiating Similar Goods and Services; and (6) no priority right is requested.

In addition, the Trial Measures also provide for the termination of the expedited examination procedure, such as if the application must be corrected, further explained or amended as required under law, if the application is undergoing same-day examination, if the applicant has requested expedited examination but then later requested the suspension of such examination, or any other circumstances where expedited examination is not possible.  After the expedited examination procedure is terminated, examination should be conducted according to the general procedure.