When filing in China, a common question is whether the English version of the trademark is sufficient, or whether a corresponding trademark in Chinese characters should be filed as well.

For the Chinese transliteration, please see our suggestions below:

Generally, for an overseas brand which will officially enter the Chinese market, it is strongly suggested to file a corresponding Chinese mark.

This is because that

1) From a business perspective, a Chinese mark is easier to remember and recognize for Chinese consumers;

2) For the products like food, cosmetics, etc. imported to China, a Chinese name of the brand is officially required and needs to be posted on the package;

3) If it happens the client has no corresponding Chinese name for its brand, then the client’s authorized agency in China may create a Chinese mark by itself and sometimes even register such a name as its trademark. If this Chinese mark becomes known, it will be too late for the client to create a new Chinese name. In the meantime, it is not easy to take back that Chinese mark registered by the agency since China is strictly a first to file country;

and

4) If a foreign brand does not have an official Chinese name, it is very likely that the Chinese consumers will voluntary create a Chinese name for it to make it easier to remember and such Chinese name will be vulnerable to be pre-emptively registered by trademark squatters.

Below is a real-world example to illustrate point 3 above:

When Filorga went into Chinese market, they found that the Chinese agency of Filorga has registered a Chinese name “菲洛嘉” in China several years ago. What’s more, based on the promotion by the Chinese agency, the Chinese name had become widely known by Chinese consumers. Filorga had no choice but to use that same Chinese name and they paid a lot of money to buy the Chinese name back from the Chinese agency.

The bottom line:

If budget allows, file your trademark in English and Chinese characters to be fully protected in China. We do give discounts if you file two versions, i.e. FILORGA and 菲洛嘉 (from the example above).

 

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