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Annual Development Report on China's Trademark Strategy 2016

The year 2016 is the first year of the13th Five-Years Plan, the year of further deepening the business system reform, and also the icebreaking year of trademark registration and management reform. During the year, the Departments of Administration for Industry & Commerce and of Market Supervision at all levels have seriously implemented the guiding principles of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (hereinafter referred to as CPC) and the third, fourth, fifth and sixth plenary sessions of the 18th Central Committee of CPC, followed the decisions and deployments of the Leading Party Group of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (hereinafter referred to as SAIC), deeply implementedthe State Council's reform requirements for streamlining administration, delegating power and improving services, devoted great efforts to push forward the trademark registration facilitation reform, effectively strengthened the trademark supervision enforcement, and played an active role in promoting the economic development by brands and in establishing the Leading Country of Trademarks and Brands, which have all made great achievements. 

——Accelerating the trademark registration facilitation reform. Following with the continuous promotion of the business system reform, the reform bonus was effectively released while the market's vitality was effectively stimulated. There were 3,691,000 trademark registration applications filed in 2016, 28.35% more than the year before, hitting a new record. The Opinions on Strongly Promoting the Reform of Trademark Registration Facilitation was released by SAIC on 

July 14, 2016. The opinions oriented on resolving the problems encountered in trademark registration and management, taking trademark registration facilitation as the main line, and focused on reforms to broaden filing channels, simplify the trademark registration formalities, optimize the trademark registration procedures, improve examination mechanisms and strengthen the trademark credits supervision and management. By the end of 2016, several reform measures have become effective.First,the trademark application channelsare broadened. 15 filing acceptance windows and 30 acceptance points for trademark right mortgage recording were set up throughout the country. Second, the application formalities are simplified and the procedures are optimized. The period of granting the Acceptance Notification of Trademark Registration Application has been shortened to 3 months, the trademark registration certification modes are changed so that high quality services are provided to the applicants. Third, the trademark examination mechanismsare improved. Some trademark examination proceduresare entrusted and all the service sector jobs are outsourced. The Trademark Examination  Collaboration Guangzhou Center was established. The CTMO actively carried out the sole examiner system, rationally deployed the examiners, took several measures to ensure the statutory examination period, and shortened the examination period. 2,999,500 applications'examinations were completed in 2016, and 125,200 review cases were concluded. By the end of 2016, to be calculated accumulatively, 

there were 22,094,000 trademark applications, 14,509,000 registrations, and 12,376,000 valid registrations. 

——Implementing the Trademark and Brand Strategy in depth. First was strengthening the top level design of trademark and brand strategy. The economic development of China has come into a new normal. The Party Central Committee and the State Council paid high attention to the brands. The SAIC accurately comprehended the new situation and new characteristics, deepened the trademark strategyand developed it to the trademark and brand strategy, drafted the Opinions on Deeply Implementing Trademark and Brand Strategy and Promoting Chinese Brands Building after soliciting the opinions of different sectors of the society. Second, strengthening the guidance and support for the implementation of local trademark and brand strategy. The SAIC and Guangdong Provincial Government signed the Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement on Establishing Leading Province of Trademark and Brand on Dec 1, 2016. The SAIC gave approval to set up the National Trademark and Brand Innovation and Venture (Guangzhou) Bases in Guangzhou on the same day. The third was strengthening research on trademark and brand. The CTMO actively pushed forward the promotion and application of research report of "Relationship between Trademark and Economic Development", accelerated the establishment of evaluation system on the trademark's and brand's values. 

—— Continuously strengthening the trademark enforcement. Followed the centralized deployment of the SAIC, the Departments of Administration for Industry & Commerce and of Market Supervision at all levels focused on strengthening trademark administrative enforcement, fighting against IPR infringements and counterfeits by taking the high recognition trademarks, geographical indications (hereinafter referred to as GIs) and foreign trademarks as key points, so as to strengthen the trademark exclusive right protection, which effectively protected the fair and competitive market environment. In 2016, 28,000 cases about IPR infringements and counterfeits were investigated with a total amount of RMB 350 million Yuan involved. 717 counterfeits manufacture or sale dens were destroyed. 293 cases were transferred to the judicial authorities, with a total amount of RMB 160 million Yuan involved. Meanwhile, the SAIC continuously improved the long term mechanism to fight against infringements and counterfeits, put forward the trademark administrative enforcement information sharing platform building to improve the trademark supervision by the means of information technology, integrate both online and offline supervision and constantly strengthen the supervision on agents, promoted transregional and trans-department coordination in trademark law enforcement, perfected the linkage 

between administrative enforcement and criminal judicial procedures to improve the supervision force by cooperation. 

——Enhancing capability of innovation and utilization of trademarks and brands. First, the trademarks and brands globalization were improved actively, and the international exchange and cooperation were deepened in the trademark field. The CTMO held the 125th Anniversary of the Madrid International Trademark System, promoted the trademark international protection and globalization development, improved the promotion and training on trademark International 

Registration, provided the guidance to the local trademark International Registration. In 2016, there were 3014 international applications filed by domestic applicants (one registration with multiple designated Contracting Parties), 29.8% more than the previous year, ranking the fifth in the Madrid Union. Second was to instruct enterprises to capitalize trademark rights, which helped small and medium-size enterprises (hereinafter referred to as SMEs) to resolve financing difficulties by trademark exclusive rights mortgage. In 2016, there were 1410 trademark exclusive rights mortgage recorded, which financed 64.988 billion Yuan for enterprises. Third was to continue the promotion of "Using  Trademarks to Enrich Farmers"and taking GIs as measures in poverty alleviation. The SAIC carried out the grassroots research on the utilization and management of GIs and Trademarks on Agriculture Products, improved the guidance to the local GIs'application and protection. There were accumulatively 3,374 GI Trademarks registered by the end of 2016.

——Continuously improving trademark public services. First, the services provided in Trademark Registration Hall, Zhongguancun Branch and Guangzhou Branch of CTMO, local trademark reception windows were continuously improved with severe working discipline, working procedure normalization and high quality services. Second, continuously improved the public services on China Trademark Website, enlarged the proportion of on-line application, made efforts to provide  efficient and convenient services for trademark registration. There were 3.001 million applications filed online, accounting for 81.29% of the total applications for the last year. Third, SAIC strengthened the propaganda and the response to public opinions, broadened the publicity channels to ensure the reform information to be delivered to the broad masses. CTMO produced the cartoon version of the Guidance for Trademark Registration Application for the public freely. 

——New accomplishments achieved in trademark infrastructure. First, the Standards on Trademark Examination and Review had been revised. A group was set up for revising the Standards on Trademark Examination and Review in CTMO and TRAB. Based on consulting the different opinions, the Group completed the revision in 2016 and released it in Jan 2017. Second, the Scope of Trademark Archived Files and Retention Schedule and Retention Schedule for Trademark Documents Materials had been revised to ensure the good development of archives management. Third was strengthening the research on goods/services classification, clearing the goods/services database by classes and by stages. Fourth was strengthening the trademark information-based construction. The online application access was improved by enlarging the Server memories. In addition, new progress was made in the administration of trademark agencies, trademark  legislation, international exchange and cooperation, and trademark team building, which provided strong supports to promote the reform and development of China's trademarks.To comprehensively display the new achievements of trademark work, the developments of trademarks and brands strategy, further strengthen public awareness for trademarks, well instruct local trademark administration, and improve enterprises' abilities in trademark utilization and brand innovation, following the instructions of Minister Zhang Mao and Vice Minister Liu Junchen of SAIC, CTMO and TRAB compiled the Annual Development Report on China's Trademark Strategy (2016) (hereinafter referred to as Annual Development Report (2016)).The Annual Development Report (2016) consists of 14 chapters, starting with "Trademark Registration Facilitation Reform". It systematically records the new progress and achievements in 2016 made by Departments of Administration for Industry & Commerce and of Market Supervision at all levels, in terms of trademark application and registration, trademark administrative enforcement, Geographical Indications and agricultural products trademarks, trademark review and adjudication, trademark legislation, trademark agents, local trademark progress, international registration and overseas right protection, international exchange and cooperation, trademark promotion, trademark infrastructure building and information-based construction, and trademark team building. Major and important events are collected in the field of trademark and statistical analysis of various trademark data is also conducted.As an important reference and comprehensive annual report to show the implementation of trademark strategy in China, the Annual Development Report (2016) is authoritative, informative and practical. It aims to provide further understandings on trademarks for the public, to instruct local trademark work, to guide enterprises to build trademark awareness and brand value concept, and to make great contribution in promoting the development of brand economy and advancing the comprehensive reform.Great appreciations are extended to the General Affairs Office, the Comprehensive Department, and all relevant departments and bureaus and directly affiliated units of SAIC, as well as Departments of Administration for Industry & Commerce and of Market Supervision at all levels for their unreserved supports and contributions. 

Any suggestions and comments are welcome.

Trademark Office / Trademark Review and Adjudication Board 

 March 25, 

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