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Proposed amendments to the trademark law (2023)

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Dominic Hui

Ribeiro Hui, Shanghai



China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has recently issued a consultation draft of amendments to the Trademark Law. The draft for consultation has triggered a lot of discussions in the trademark circle and this article highlights two important points.

The first point to highlight is about the ‘use’ of a registered mark. Under the proposed new Article 5, one shall ‘use or undertake to use the mark when applying for the trademark. Meanwhile, under the proposed new Article 61, after registration, the registrant shall report the situation of use of the trademark to the trademark office every five years, failing which the registration shall be cancelled.

The second point to highlight is the prohibition on re-application of the trademarks under the new Article 21. Except for special circumstances, trademarks applied for registration shall not be identical to the trademark that has been prior applied by the applicant on the same goods, or to the prior trademark which has been registered, cancelled, revoked or invalidated within one year from the application date. If this amendment is formally implemented, the previous common tactic – to re-apply every three years to circumvent the non-use cancellations – shall no longer be available. Use of a trademark in the territory will be necessary to maintain the corresponding registrations.

The consultation period ended on 27 February 2023. We note that many industrial organisations have provided the comments from the consultation process to the authority and it is possible that there will be further changes.

Implementation of the registration system for stock issuance (2023)

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) issued a set of rules related to the full implementation of the registration system for stock issuance in February 2023. The contents have covered various aspects in stock issuance, including issuance conditions, registration procedures, sponsorship and underwriting, major asset reconstruction, supervision and enforcement, and investor protection.

Unlike the past approval system, the registration system only retains the necessary eligibility and compliance conditions for the stock issuance of enterprises, and the regulators will focus on the formal compliance requirements, instead of making substantive judgment on the investment value of enterprises. In the future, the conditions of issuance under the registration system will be transformed into information disclosure requirements and the authenticity, accuracy and completeness of information disclosure will be of greater significance.

MIIT’s new rules on data security (2023)

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued the Administrative Measures for Data Security in the Field of Industry and Information Technology (Trial Implementation) (the ‘Measures’) which came into force on 1 January 2023. The Measures apply to the processors of Industry and IT Data (‘Industry and IT Data Processors’), which is defined as industry enterprises, software and information technology service providers, licensed telecom service providers and the users of radio frequencies and stations. Under the Measures, Industry and IT Data Processors shall not provide any industry and IT data stored in China to a foreign industry, telecom or radio enforcement entity without a prior approval from the MIIT. Furthermore, processors of important data and core data are required to file their data manual with the local offices of MIIT, and the MIIT is expected to publish its scope/data manual of important data and core data shortly. As MIIT is the first sectoral regulator to issue a regulation on data security, other authorities may draw reference to the Measure and publish regulations to manage data security in their sectors.