Avoid Trademark Registration Rejection

In aplying for trademark registration, there are certain factors that can spell rejection or approval. Based on the chinese trademark law, qualified elements for trademark registration are, any visual symbols able to identify the products and services of a legal person or company from others within the market. These symbols include words, letters, figures and digits, 3D signs, color combinations, or the combination of these elements.

If your China Trademark application was rejected, it may be because of the following reasons:

  • Identical marks with existing registered trademarks

  • Generic names and designs

  • Immediate reference of the product and service attribute

  • Plain descriptions- just a surname

  • Deceiving in nature, or socially discriminating and damaging.

Knowing these may minimize the chances of getting your trademark application denied, but it does not totally eliminate the probability of that from happening. In the unfortunate event that it does, rest assured that, all hope is not lost. According to the provisions in chinese law, once your application has been rejected, you may appeal for re-examination from the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB).


You will be informed of the rejection of your China trademark application through the issuance of a written document called a Notice of Rejection. Within 15 days from the posting date of the Notice of Rejection, you are given the chance to file for a re-examination for you to have another go at acquiring a registered trademark. You may also submit an Application for Extension to the TRAB, good for a maximum of 30 days, if the 15 days are not enough.

It will take a period of 18 – 24 months from the date of application for the re-examination. Before anything else, the Chinese trademark law also stipulates that foreign enterprises must delegate a Chinese agency or agent to handle your registration for a trademark in China. And you actually need it especially that you need somebody who can translate your brand into a Chinese name.

You will be required to submit necessary documents so you can appeal for the re-examination. These documents include:

  • 2 copies of the form for Application for Re-examination of Trademark.

  • Original file of the Application for Trademark Registration.

  • Notice of Rejection along with the envelope it came with.

  • Valid reason for the re-examination, with the material and evidence directory plus the evidence substance.

  • Photocopy of your ID and a duplicated trademark proxy.

These files are needed by the TRAB to assess whether or not the committees involved endorse your reason for a re-examination. If the evidence you have provided is adequate, the TRAB can revoke the decision of the China Trademark Office (CTMO), thus earning you a registered trademark.

The Chinese trademark law system which protects your trademark and your business is managed by CTMO under the administration of TRAB, which are branches of the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC).

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