China Preliminarily Approves First Sound Trademark

 
The Chinese Trademark Office has published the signature tune of China Radio International, the state-owned international radio broadcaster, in its preliminary examination gazette of 13 February 2016, meaning that the signature tune will become the country's first-ever sound trademark if no opposition is raised by the deadline of 13 May 2016.
 
In China, sound marks are not registrable until the Chinese Trademark Law afforded protection for them by a latest revision in 2013. Sound mark applications in China need to undergo substantive examination with criteria in line with those for visual mark applications, namely, the compliance of prohibitory clauses and the tests of distinctive features and identicalness/similarity. 
 
The Chinese Trademark Office started accepting and examining sound mark applications on 1 May 2014, and has received 450 applications of the type as of the end of January 2016.