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Whether trademark containing the Chinese character “国” should be approved for registration

From the recent meeting with judges of the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, we have learnt the following practical principles regarding whether trademarks containing the Chinese character “国”, which has a meaning of “national” in English, should be approved for registration.


Not all trademarks containing the Chinese character “国” shall not be approved for registration. At present, the examination on such marks is not as strict as before.


According to the judges, a trademark containing the Chinese character “国” could be approved for registration on the condition that such trademark does not mislead consumers to understand that the meaning of such character refers to “national level” when the trademark is used on the designated goods/services. For example, trademarks “国全” or “国阳” could be approved for registration. While, if a trademark containing the Chinese character “国” may mislead consumers to understand that the quality of the designated goods/services is “national level”, such trademark shall not be approved for registration. For instance, the mark “国茶(national tea)” as intended to be registered on the goods “tea”, and the mark “国酒(national alcohol)” as intended to be registered on the goods of alcohol beverage, will not be approved for registration.


In conclusion, trademarks consisting of the Chinese character “国” and words not referring to the designated goods are likely to be approved for registration. While, trademarks consisting of the Chinese character “国” and words referring to the designated goods generally could not be approved for registration.

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