Chinese national well-known trademarks (中国驰名商标) and local famous trademarks (本地著名商标) are two distinct unique intellectual property rights in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”). Intellectual property attorneys in the PRC, especially foreign consultants, often encounter challenges in understanding these trademark rights including various legislative, administrative, and judicial documents, differences between local regulations, and the general lack of information and translations. The third revision to the Trademark Law, which takes effect on May 1, 2014, will bring widespread domestic attention to this subject because the new law bans the use of national well-known trademarks on products, packaging, and advertising. The author believes this restriction will cause a shift toward the use of local famous trademark designations. In addition to explaining these trademark rights, this article also provides and compares translations of local regulations that are otherwise unavailable, reflects on how the 2013 Trademark Law will interact with local famous trademarks, and suggests improvements to the laws and regulations that affect national well-known trademarks and local famous trademarks.
Paul Kossof, Chinese National Well-Known Trademarks and Local Famous Trademarks in Light of the 2013 Trademark Law: Status, Effect, and Adequacy, 13 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 225 (2013)