Recently, the Trademark Office of China National Intellectual Property Administration issued four policy interpretations of the Trademark Examination and Trial Guide (hereinafter referred to as the "Guide"), interpreting key issues in the formulation of the Guide from the aspects of the examination and trial of a bad faith application for trademark registration for a purpose other than use, signs that may not be used as trademarks, distinctiveness of trademarks and well-known trademark so as to facilitate the public and trademark practitioners to better understand the Guide and respond to public concerns.
It is understood that the addition of the chapter "A Bad Faith Application for Trademark Registration for a Purpose Other Than Use" in the Guide aims to adapt to the revision and improvement of the Trademark Law, and resolutely crack down on the bad faith application for trademark registration for a purpose other than use. The Guide adds an elaboration on concepts related to distinctiveness of trademarks to urge trademark examiners to better grasp the connotation and denotation of distinctiveness of trademarks, and to more accurately determine whether a trademark is distinctive and whether it can be registered, so as to ensure that the consistency of the implementation of the standards and the correctness of the examination conclusions to improve the quality of the examination; and also to remind applicants to choose more distinctive signs when applying for registration of trademarks.
The revision of the "Examination and Trial of Signs that May not be Used as Trademarks" in the Guide adheres to a right political direction, fully absorbs and draws on the theory of trademark right granting and verification, practices the latest achievements, and insists on safeguarding the unity of national interests, social public interests, and legitimate rights and interests of citizens, and summarizes the practical experience of cracking down on trademark registration that endangers our national interests, social public interests and public order. In the Guide, a well-known trademark should be recognized, according to the principle of "need-based recognition", which aims to clarify that the well-known trademark will be recognized if it is necessary for "handling the case" and not for other reasons. In the practice of trademark right granting and verification, the implementation of the principle of "need-based recognition" should adhere to protection orientation and result orientation. The recognition of well-known trademarks should not only adhere to "if it is necessary for handling the case" and "conform to statutory requirements", but also meet "exhaustion of other remedies" and other preconditions.