Light at the end of the tunnel: trademark reform in China


Fabio Giacopello and Bian Jun

Light at the end of the tunnel: trademark reform in China

The latest draft of China’s proposed trademark law promises significant changes. Fabio Giacopello and Bian Jun investigate.

On June 26, 2013, the National People’s Congress undertook the second reading of a draft of the Trademark Law. The draft replaces the previous one published for comments in December 2012 (see WIPR Annual 2013, pp.18–19) and promulgation is expected soon with very limited amendments. Unlike the previous one, this draft demonstrates more willingness to change.

Well-known trademarks

Article 14 states: “Producers and business operators shall not affix the words ‘well-known trademark’ to commodities, commodity packages or containers or use the words in advertisements, exhibitions and other commercial activities.” This provision is surprising and indeed has become notorious. The new provision is clearly intended to curb the malpractice of companies that use the achieved legal status as a sort of promotion tool: “Buy my pen, my trademark is well-known.”

Trademark, China, CTMO,