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Archived updates for Thursday, October 14, 2004

Chinese Trademark Enforcement Costs and Timing

According to an article by Kai Yang on Trademark Enforcement in China, a holder of a registered trade mark in the PRC has an option to enforce its rights through administrative procedure or through a civil lawsuit.

It usually takes the administrative Authority for Industry and Commerce (or AIC) around three months to complete discovery and issue a decision. Criminal sanctions are also available for counterfeiting registered trade marks.However, if the case is complicated, the administrative process could take more time. Although the requesting party does not need to pay any official fee for a seizure action, disbursements such as travelling fees and transportation fees for transmitting the infringing products will be charged.

It usually takes the court of first instance, after docketing the complaint, around six to 12 months to issue a judgment. Any appeal usually takes half of the time of the first instance. Court costs depend upon the amount of damages to be claimed from around Rmb1,000 ($120) for no damages and about Rmb10, 010 ($1200) if Rmb1,000,000 ($120,000) in damages is claimed. Court costs may also include other items, such as the fees for auditing or identification if requested.

IP rights can also be recorded with the Chinese General Customs Office for extendible periods of 10 years during which the owner which request Customs to take measures to exclude infringing imports. However, "The detailed procedure for submitting the guarantee shall be promulgated by the General Customs Office at later date."
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