China follows the ‘first to file’ rule for the registration of trademarks and the options to protect unregistered marks are limited and far from effective. It is crucial for pharmaceutical companies to register the trademarks of the drugs that they produce and market in China, given the strict regulatory rules. Though compulsory registration of trademarks for drugs is nolonger required by the Trademark Law and the Pharmaceutical Administration Law, such trademarks must be registered before they can be approved by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).


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