Draft regulations covering trademark agencies issued

China

The Chinese Trademark Office (CTO) has issued draft Regulations on the Administration of Trademark Agencies. A copy of the draft has been published on the CTO's website for comment. A conference was held in Beijing on December 10 2004 to discuss the draft regulations. As yet, it has not been decided whether they will be adopted and, if so, when they would come into force.

In February 2003 the Chinese government abolished the examination qualification for trademark agents. Since then trademark agents in the People's Republic of China have been unregulated, which has led to an increase in unqualified persons carrying out trademark work.

The main provisions of the draft regulations include the following:

  • A trademark agency must have more than three trademark agents.

  • A trademark agency must deposit a surety of Rmb200,000 with a designated bank, to be used for the protection of instructing parties.

  • A trademark agent must be familiar with trademark laws and have the relevant knowledge, which will be determined through examinations conducted by the China Trademark Council.

  • A person falsely claiming to be a trademark agent must forfeit the illegal revenue and will be fined no less than Rmb3,000 but not more than Rmb30,000.

  • Existing trademark agencies will be required to comply with the regulations within one year of implementation.

Sandra Gibbons, Lloyd Wise & Co, Hong Kong

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