On September 1, Regulations on Electronic Application of Trademarks formulated by China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) went into effect, ushering in an era of E-filing of trademarks. "To apply for a trademark registration electronically is no doubt an important symbol and progress of trademark system modernization in China. It is of much significance to execute the measure considering the rapid development of information network technology and the surging number of trademark registrations," said Feng Xiaoqing, a professor and director of Institute of Intellectual Property Law of China University of Political Science and Law, adding that the enactment of the Regulations will elevate trademark application efficiency and enable market players including enterprises to file and obtain trademark registrations in a timely fashion.
Under the Regulations, e-filing means that the trademark application documents are filed to CNIPA in the required electronic form through a trademark online service system. Accordingly, the Regulations make specific and definite rules on some issues including user registration, application procedures and requirements, principal-agent service in electronic form, requirements and submission dates of trademark application documents or materials and coordination with the relevant regulations of paper application documents.
"In recent years, we, as well as many small and micro businesses in the Center, have registered dozens of trademarks through electronic application, from which all have benefited a lot," said Wan Mei, who is from Technology and Development Department of Shanghai Caohejing Hi-Tech Park Innovation Center, adding that applicants can apply for trademark registration via Internet, thus saving much time and money. In addition, applicants can print their own certificate whenever and wherever they want after the launch of operation for electronic trademark registration certificate. "As for IP service providers, e-filing means more efficient and handy services for clients on top of curtailing our overhead," said Chen Shaolan, a trademark agent and managing partner at Foridom Law Firm in Shanghai, adding that the e-filing of streamlined workload. When an applicant files multiple applications, once the bibliographic data are entered for one application, the system will automatically fill in the blanks for the rest, apparently elevating the efficiency of agents.
"Businesses in particular should pay attention to the following tips after the Regulations is in effect: First, the awareness of electronic application should be strengthened. Compared to the traditional paper application form, E-filing is more convenient and efficient and takes advantage in subsequent approval process. Therefore, businesses should make full use of the approach to obtain trademark exclusive rights in time. Second, in a bid to improve the efficiency of e-filing, businesses shall bring themselves up to the speed on the nuts and bolts of the Regulations and follow the requirements strictly during practice to avoid any misstep that may impede their trademark registration." Feng suggested.
Source: China IP News