Practice Areas | Trademark | Q & A
Can the classification of goods or services be increased when applying for a trademark renewal?
It is not permitted to add or change the designated goods or services after a trademark has been filed or is registered. The renewal of a trademark in nature is an extension of the term of a trademark right after registration, which is subject to the restriction that no alteration of the trademark design or that of the goods or services shall be permitted. Accordingly, the examination in practice merely allows applying for the renewal of all or parts of the designated goods/services in the original registration and does not permitto increase the designated classes and goods or services thereof.
If a trademark registration is not in use for 3 consecutive years, the registered trademark is jeopardized to be cancelled.
If the trademark actually in use is different from the registered trademark, how are the identities of thetrademarks determined and deemed that the original registered trademark is in use?
Trademark identity refers to a trademark in actual use that is labeled by the trademark proprietor and may be slightly different from the registered trademark in form but the major features for identifying the registered trademark are not substantially changed. For example, changes in the arrangement manner of Chinese text direction, the text fonts, or upper and lower cases in English. These changes are to accommodate the needs of the goods, the design of the packaging or containers, or the indication in business operation. Based on the general concept of society and consumer recognition, the trademark in actual use generates the same impression of the original trademark registration to the consumers and makes them believe that the two marks are the same. The trademark in actual use is possessed of trademark identity. In this situation, the registered trademark is deemed to be in use.
If the trademark is registered in traditional Chinese characters and in actual use it is labeled as simplified Chinese characters, would the use of the latter be possessed of the trademark identity?

Since traditional and simplified Chinese characters have diverse extents in difference, and is different fromsimply changing the word fonts, then the examination authority considers and determines whether the mark in use possesses an identity of the original registered trademark based on the general concept of society and consumer recognition on a case-by-case basis. Thus, in order to preclude the trademark squatting or counterfeiting by others, we recommend that the applicant simultaneously file trademark applications for both traditional and simplified Chinese characters, so as to enjoy a broader protection.
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