Types of a trademark application in China

Borsam IP
Borsam IP
As per Article 3 of Chinese Trademark Law, they’re four types of trademark applications in China, i.e. goods trademarks, services trademarks, collective trademarks and certification trademarks.
Goods trademark is the trademark used on the products which manufactured or sold by the trademark owner.
  • Services trademark is the trademark used on the services by the services provider to distinguish with others.
  • Collective trademark is the trademark registered in the name of a group, association, or any other organization and used by its members to indicate membership.
  • Certification trademark is owned by an organization that exercises supervision over a particular product or service and which is used to indicate that third-party goods or services meet certain standards pertaining to place of origin, raw materials, mode of manufacture, quality, or other characteristics.
The most common trademark applications are goods trademark application and service trademark application. But in practice, there are other trademark applications mentioned, for example, wordmarks, graphic marks, 3D trademarks, well-known trademarks, etc. What is the difference? Beginning with the definition of a trademark, any word, design, letters of an alphabet, numerals, three-dimensional symbol, combinations of colors, and their combination can be applied for a trademark application. Hence, the aforesaid types are divided from the component of a trademark except for well-known trademark.
  • Wordmark is usually a distinct text-only typographic treatment of the name of a company, institution, or product name used for purposes of identification and branding. Some countries accept the “word mark” application, such as EUIPO and USPTO, refers not to the graphical representation but only the text.
  • Graphic trademark is a logo, and it is an emblem, or symbol used to aid and promote public identification and recognition. It may be of an abstract or figurative design or include the text of the name it represents as in a wordmark.
  • Smell trademark, just as its name implies, is a trademark registered for a characteristic odor to distinguish the goods/services from others. It is accepted for trademark registration in fewer countries but not in China.
  • Sound trademark, it is a trademark where the sound is used to identify the commercial origin of products or services—for example, the Nokia jingle.
  • Color trademark, at least one color is used to perform the trademark function of uniquely identifying the commercial origin of products or services.
  • Three-dimensional trademark is usually presented as product appearance or substantial packaging in three-dimensional images, such as the coca cola bottle.
  • Well-known trademark is a trademark that is widely known to the pertinent general public and enjoys a relatively high reputation. Different from the trademark application, to obtain a well-known trademark in China, it has to be recognized in special procedures before AIC, TRAB and court.