Wednesday 25 September 2019

Significant reduction in official fees for Chinese trade marks

The Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has reduced official fees by up to 50% for many national trade mark matters, from filing through to renewal. The fee reduction is in line with the government’s IP plan to promote innovation and make securing registered rights, such as trade marks, more accessible.

The fee reductions are a major win for New Zealand businesses wanting to protect their marks in the all-important Chinese market, especially considering that China does not recognise user rights, only registered rights.  But, there has been scepticism from some quarters. In a country that saw 7.3 million trade mark applications filed in 2018 alone, questions have been asked about how the CNIPA will cope with even higher filing numbers because of the cheaper official filing fee. The major concerns have been around delays and consistency with examination.

The CNIPA has tried to pre-empt these concerns by developing its electronic filing system, with plans to extend the system to oppositions, cancellations and reviews. It is hoped that the electronic system will alleviate pressure on the CNIPA and result in time and cost savings for trade mark owners.

In the meantime, we welcome the following reductions, where the official fees have been reduced by 50%:

Action

New fees

Filing- up to 10 items in goods/services

NZ$68*
(RMB 300)

Filing- each additional item after 10

NZ$34*
(RMB 30)

Renewal

NZ$226*
(RMB 1,000)

Assignment

NZ$113*
(RMB 500)

Change of name/address/agent

NZ$57*
(RMB 250)

Review/invalidation

NZ$170*
(RMB 750)

Opposition

NZ$113*
(RMB 500)

Non-use cancellation

NZ$113*
(RMB 500)

*The New Zealand costs are indicative only and will vary with the exchange rate.

These fee reductions have already come into force. If you would like to discuss your trade mark strategy in China, please contact one of our experts.