Since the March announcement that China will soon undergo the biggest structural changes in years to its government, things have been moving REALLY fast. They are fast even for China’s standards.
We have seen a number of examples across the board in the trademark world. For example, once a trademark application is filed, it typically takes 4 to 6 months to get a “filing receipt” (the government’s formal acknowledge that they “got it”; they will also assign an application number). Now, we are seeing filing receipts issued in as little as one month. This has happened not just to one application, but to at least 20 applications we’ve filed recently. Also, it typically has taken roughly 10~12 months to get a review of a trademark refusal decision — now, we are getting the decisions in roughly 6 or 7 months. The overall examination period is expected to be shortened to around 5 months by the end of this year.
Put simply, for the past few months, we have seen things move much faster than the “normal” pace. This confirms the message which has been released from the Chinese government stating that they are speeding up IP processing in almost every aspect.
This increase in speed of processing has and will continue to impact brands operating in China from trademark to licensing strategies. If you are thinking about suspension and filing a nonuse action at a later time — well, think again! Take heed of this fast pace and make sure to adjust/keep up accordingly – will be a roller coaster ride in turbo speed for sure!