Practice Areas | China IP Practice | Q & A
Q7. What are similar goods or services? What is the official criterion for determining the similarity of goods or services?

Similar goods refer to goods which are affiliated with each other in aspects such as functionality, usage, raw materials or sales channels. Similar services refer to services which, although different in names, are affiliated with each other in aspects such as the contents and characteristics of the services, the ways in which they are provided, the sites where they are provided or the consumer groups that receive the services. 

In such a situation, if two identical or similar trademarks are allowed to be used, it is easy to cause consumers to mistakingly believe that both products are different species or series of goods from the same enterprise, or that they are different services provided by the same service provider in the same occasion or at the same site. Therefore, there is a similarity between these two goods or services.


At present, under the trademark examination process, examiners determine whether two goods or services are similar mainly according to the International Classification of Goods/Services for Trademark Registration and the Classification Table of Similar Goods/Services from the Trademark Office.

Q8. If the application for a trademark is refused, what is the remedy procedure for the applicant?

Different from the practice in Taiwan, where the examination authority will inform the applicant to file a response with opinions prior to an official refusal, in mainland China, after the trademark application has been examined, if the authority determines that there is a reason that this registration shall not be allowed, it will directly issue a notice of refusal to refuse this application.

If the applicant refuses to accept this ruling, he should file for an appeal review with the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board within 15 days of the date this notice is received. Since the statutory period for filing an appeal review is very short, if the applicant cannot collect relevant evidence and data in time, he or she can file an appeal review first, and then submit supplementary evidence to the authority within 3 months after the appeal review is filed.

If the ruling of the appeal review still upholds the original decision of trademark refusal, the applicant may further appeal to the People's Court for a remedy within 30 days after receipt of the notice from the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board.

1. How many categories of patents are defined in the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China?
Article 2 of the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China specifies that "In this law, inventions-creations mean inventions, utility models and designs". Therefore, the subject matters for which patent may be granted are inventions, utility models and designs.
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