China -  Chinese law firm

What are the major changes in the newly revised trademark law? Is there any conflict between the newly revised trademark law and the international treaties China has joined?

The newly revised trademark law extends protection to three-dimensional signs, geographical indications, collective trademarks and certification trademarks. Courts are now authorized to order an infringing party to cease its use and in some cases order property preservation.

The practice of reverse passing off, which occurs when a trademark is removed from goods and another trademark is put on in its place for the purposes of further sale, is now recognized as an infringing activity. Previously where an infringing trademark could be separated from the goods on which it was displayed, the infringing trademark could be removed and destroyed, and the goods returned to the infringing party. Under the new law, the Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) must destroy all infringing goods, regardless of whether or not the trademark can be removed. Fines may now also be issued. The protection extends slightly beyond the strict requirements of the WTO's TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement, providing greater certainty and a clear deterrent effect.

Areas of conflict still exist between the revised law, TRIPS, and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. The new law fails to accommodate Article 6bis(1) of the Paris Convention, which extends protection of well-known trademarks to cases in which only "an essential part of the mark constitutes a reproduction of any such well-known mark or an imitation liable to create confusion therewith".

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