Chapter 3: Trademarks
Li Zuming1 3.1. INTRODUCTION – WHAT ARE TRADEMARKS? A trademark is a commercial mark that distinguishes a provider of commodities or services from others. Trademarks include registered trademarks and unregistered trademarks. Registered trademarks are those that have been approved and registered by the Trademark Office (TMO) of the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC). Trademark registrants have exclusive use of their trademarks and are protected by Chinese law. Unregistered trademarks are those commercial marks that have not been approved and registered by the Trademark Office, but are used as trademarks.2 In China, an application for trademark registration may be filed for any visible mark including a word, sign, letter, number, 3D (threedimensional) mark, color combination, or a combination of the elements mentioned above, that distinguish the commodities of the natural person, legal person or other organization from those of others. A sound, smell or an animation cannot compose a registered trademark.3 According to the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China of 22 February 1993 (as amended) to use a registered trademark, the trademark registrant must use ‘注册商标’ (meaning a registered trademark) or a sign indicating the trademark is registered (the registration signs 1 Associate Professor in Law at the China University of Political Science and Law and Associate Director of the Institute of Intellectual Property Law. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Mr. Robert Yeargin for his valuable assistance with the English version of this chapter. 2 Some unregistered trademarks, such as unregistered well-known...
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