Bad Faith Trademark Applicants are facing administrative penalty in China

In 2019, China revised its Trademark Law for the fourth time and formulated “Several Provisions on Regulating Trademark Application and Registration”. The revised Trademark Law and newly issued Provisions grant the competent offices the right to warn and fine the bad faith trademark applicants. The administrative fine can be under RMB 10,000 if the bad faith application does not produce illegal income, or triple the illegal income.


Since and during the Coronavirus epidemic, some enterprises and individual applied for registration of some words, which relate to the hospitals, doctors, etc. fighting against the coronavirus. These applications obviously show bad faith to infringe on the third party's prior rights. The local Market Administrations have investigated the applications and ordered the applicants to correct its wrong behaviors. On March 26, 2020, the Shaoxing Market Administration has also put a fine of RMB2000 against the applicant of the mark 'Li Wenliang', which the name of a doctor alerting the coronavirus epidemic.


The implementation of the revised Trademark Law is definitely putting a deterrent against the bad faith applicants. As to the applications after December 1, 2019 involving copying, imitating, translating others' well-known marks, pre-emptively seeking the registration of the prior marks known to the applicants, infringing upon others' prior rights, we will continue representing the right holders to request the State IPO to refuse such applications. Additionally, with the authorizations from right holders, we will also request the local Market Administrations to punish the bad faith applicants, like warning, fine, etc.

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