1. Q:What are the characteristics of trademark?
    A:Trademark has the following characteristics:

  • Differentiating its commodity or service from others
  • Formed by words, graphics, letters, figures, colours or 3D symbols, and combining the fore mentioned elements
  • Exclusive nature; trademark holder has the exclusive rights to the trademark, protected by law
  • Intangible asset, the value of which can be determined by assessment; trademark holder may be entitled profits by transferring and licensing the using rights.

2. Q:What marks cannot be registered as trademarks?
    A:The following marks shall not be used as trademarks:

  • Marks identical or similar to the name, national flag, national emblem, army flag, and medal of a country, as well as marks identical to the name of a particular place where state organs locate or the name and graph of landmark buildings.
  • Marks identical or similar to the name, flag and emblem of an international organization.
  • Marks identical or similar to the official mark and hallmark indicating the implementation of control and security, other than the authorized.
  • Marks of racial discrimination
  • Marks of high sounding publicity and fraud
  • Marks coherent to the generic name, graph and type of the product , such as computer, pen, portfolio
  • Marks directly indicating the quality, major raw materials, function, purpose, weight, quantity and other characteristics of the product.
  • Marks identical or similar to name or sign of Red Cross and Red Crescent

3. Q: What should be considered before filing an application for trademark registration?
    A: Matters to be considered include:

  • Whether the trademark distinguishes the applicant’s goods or services from other traders
  • Whether the trademark shows the distinctiveness of the goods and services
  • Whether the trademark is a generic term in that industry
  • Whether the trademark is identical or similar to other trademarks.

4. Q: What is Nice Classification?
    A:Nice Classification (the “NCL”) is an international classification system to classify goods and services for the purposes of trademark registration.

5. Q:Can an individual apply for trademark registration?
    A:Yes. Applicant can be either corporation or individual.

6. Q:What information is required for trademark registration?
    A:It varies with each country and region. Generally, applicant’s identity documents, application form and trademark image are required.

7.  Q:How long is to process a trademark registration?
     A:It varies with each country and region, for example, 8-10 months in Hong Kong and 12-18 months in China. Generally, it takes 4-24 months to process.

8. Q:What is the validity period of a trademark?
    A:It is 10 years in most countries and regions, except few, such as Canada (15 years) and Macau (7 years).

9. Q:Can the registration be renewed?
    A:Yes. Generally, the validity period of a renewed trademark is 10 years.

10. Q:What is the right of priority?

  • Entitlement of the right of priority An applicant may enjoy the right of priority on trademark registration for certain goods or service with a state party to Paris Convention or a WTO member state for six months after the first application submission.
  • Exercise of the right of priority An applicant may exercise the right of priority to file the same application in another country within six months after his/her first application such that the application date of the second application may be dated back to that of the first application.

11. Q:What are the principles on the basis of trademark protection?
      A:The adopted principles vary with each country and region. Currently, the 3 principles adopted internationally are prior use,prior application, and both of aforementioned.

12.Q:Does transferring trademark need an agreement?
     A:Yes. It requires an application form and a trademark assignment contract, which are signed by the assignor and the assignee.

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