Rethinking Chinese Trademark Law’s Prohibition of Trademarks “Having other Adverse Effects”

5 Baku St. U. L.Rev. 1 (2019)
Article language: English.


China has developed very rapidly in both intellectual property law system and relative economy. Its quantity of trademark applications ranks number one for more than 17 years is a result of the government’s incentive policy on IP and people’s motivation to take up more market share. Marks “having other adverse effects” can neither be registered nor used as trademarks in China. CTMO, China TRAB and China courts employed and interpreted this miscellaneous provision in an inconsistent way make people confused about where is the boundary of the regulation. Considering there is a gap in trademark registration prohibition between China and other countries, China should reform the system for marks to mitigate adverse effects of the current “having other adverse effects” trademark registration prohibition system. Measures of reform include unifying the standard of “having other adverse effects”, replace forbidden to use the system with forbidden to register system, open trademark use and trademark registration based on free speech. Other supplementary measures such as China guiding cases system can be implemented.

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