Practice Areas | China IP Practice | Q & A
Q4. If I apply to register a trademark in Simplified Chinese, but label it in Traditional Chinese in actual use, then will the originally registered trademark be considered as "non-use"?
Since the difference between Traditional Chinese characters and their Simplified Chinese counterparts varies from one trademark to another, if you apply and register a trademark in Simplified Chinese but actually use it in Traditional Chinese, then it is highly likely that this will be considered by the competent authority in mainland China as a condition where "an unused registered trademark exists" due to the lack of identity between these two marks.

Therefore, to avoid the risk of a possible cancellation of a registered trademark due to its non-use status for three consecutive years, we recommend that the applicant should apply to register a trademark "as it is used", and if it is possible for both its Traditional and Simplified forms to be used, then the trademark shall be registered in both forms to enjoy a wider protection.
Q5. Once a trademark is successfully registered for an exclusive use, how long will it be valid? Can the term of protection be extended?
If the process goes well, you can obtain a trademark registration about two and a half years after the trademark application is filed for examination. The applicant will be entitled to an exclusive right to use the trademark as of its Date of Approval, and for a period of 10 years. A renewal application may be filed within 6 months before or after the exclusive period of a trademark registration expires.

Once approved, each renewal will extend the period of exclusive use of the trademark for another 10 years. Extension to the valid period may generally be granted again and again and without any limit to the number of times, provided that the trademark proprietor intends to possess his right to the trademark and files a renewal application as specified within the required period.
Q6. What does trademark identity or similarity mean?
Identical or similar trademarks mainly refers to the designated goods or services of the marks that are identical or similar. In terms of the designated goods or services, the later filed mark is totally identical with the earlier filed/registered one, or the constituent elements of these two trademarks are so similar in forms, such as in fonts, pronunciations, meanings, devices and so on, that although they differ, it is hard to distinguish the difference, and thus tends to cause confusion for consumers.
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