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Sound is registrable as a registered trademark

  • 2014-06-13


      On May 1, the new Trademark Law and Trademark Regulations after amendments implemented officially. Wu Qun, vice inspector of Trademark Office under SAIC, Li Zhijun, deputy director general of Trademark Review and Adjudication Board under SAIC explained the change and new areas of the new law in Qiang Guo Forum of


      Well-known trademark is prohibited to use for advertising and publicity.


       “To believe China Well-known Trademark”, the advertising is very familiar for consumers. Well-known trademark is a standard for consumers to identify the quality and reputation of brands and is used by enterprises as an effective and treasured trick in advertising.


      Wu Qun explained that the original meaning of well-known trademark is the unregistered mark well known by relevant public, without any honor color in it. However, the concept since its entering into China, misleads customers on qualities of goods in respect of which the mark is used, and causes unfair competition to other enterprises in some extents.


       “Therefore, the new Trademark Law prohibited the use of well-known trademark by producers and traders on goods or the packaging or container for such goods, or in advertising, publicity, exhibition or other commercial activities”, Wu Qun thought above law clearly identified that well-known trademark is only a law application for administrative authority or judicial department on the basis of the party’s request and case examination or trial necessity, which was good to the comprehensive play the fair and competitive function of market.


      Li Zhijun also commented that the applicant needed to bear the burden of proof in trademark review cases regardless of how well-known his mark was. He said the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board only made a ruling on the legal fact with enough evident supports, but not on the so called well-known.


      First sound mark is applied for registration


      The “beginning sound” of CRI was applied for registration recently. It was the first sound mark application received by SAIC after the implementation of new Trademark Law.


      Traditionally, excluding sound from the registrable elements is mainly because of the lack of visibility. With the social development, WTO regulates that “any sign or combination of signs, capable of distinguishing goods or services of one enterprise from others could constitute a mark” and makes it as a basic requirement for its contracting parties, which opens the registration of sound as a trademark.


      Wu Qun explained that the amendment of Trademark Law increased the registration of sound as a mark to facilitate enterprises. Enterprise which needs to apply the sound as trademark for registration shall make a statement in his application document, submit sample as required, describe the sound mark and explain the use method of the mark.


      Trademark agency credit files being to establish


      By the end of April, there were 19300 trademark agencies that made record in Trademark Office conducting trademark commissioning. According to statistics, more than 95 % applications each year were submitted by trademark agencies.


      Wu Qun introduced that there were many problems after the cancelation of administrative examination and approval on trademark agencies, such as the lack of professional qualification, various quality agencies intermingled to squeeze price for competition, and some agencies even change the professional legal service into booths solicits, which harmed the clients’ interests. Some of agencies even using fraud ways to extract cash from clients, and to default trademark fees to harm the clients.


      Focused on those problems, new Trademark made regulations on agencies using fraud, false publicity, misleading or commercial bribery. “During the application for record an agency, the agency should submit its basic information on itself and its agents. AIC authority should establish credit files, circulate a notice of criticism to the agency and record its illegal behavior into credit file. Under serious circumstances, the Trademark Office or the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board may additionally decide to stop accepting the trademark commissioning affairs handled by the trademark agency.”


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