China Trademark Office Issues Explanations on Submission of Evidence of Trademark Use

On 13 August 2018, China Trademark Office published the Explanations on Submission of Evidence of Trademark Use, which specify the main types of recognised as well as unrecognised uses of a trademark in the sense of the Chinese Trademark Law.
According to the Explanations, uses of a trademark on goods under the following circumstances will be recognised as trademark use in China:
  • ŸAttaching a trademark to goods, packaging of goods, containers, labels, etc. by direct affixing, imprinting, stamping or weaving, or using the trademark on tags of goods, product manuals, brochures, price lists, etc.;
  • ŸUsing the trademark in transaction documents relating to the sale of goods, including contracts for sale of goods, invoices, bills, receipts, import/export commodity inspection and quarantine certificates, and customs clearance bills;
  • ŸUsing the trademark in broadcasting, TV or other media, releasing the trademark in openly distributed publication, or conducting advertising and promotion for the trademark or goods under the trademark by means of billboard, mail advertisement or other forms of advertisements;
  • Ÿ Using the trademark at exhibitions or trade fairs, including on printed matter or other materials that are offered at the exhibitions or trade fairs; and
  • Ÿ Other uses of the trademark in compliance with the laws.
The Explanations further state that uses of a trademark in the following circumstances are not uses of the trademark in the sense of the Chinese Trademark Law:
  • ŸPublication of information relating to the registration of a trademark, or the trademark registrant's statement on its exclusive rights to the registered trademark;
  • Ÿ Not openly using the trademark in commerce;
  • Ÿ Using the trademark merely on complimentary gifts;
  • Ÿ Mere assignment or licensing of the trademark without actual use; and
  • Ÿ Token use of the trademark merely for the purpose of maintaining the registration of the trademark.
In addition, the Explanations point out that force majeure, public policy restraints, bankruptcy liquidation, and other legitimate causes not imputed to trademark registrants themselves are justifiable reasons for non-use of a trademark in continuous three years.