China demonstrates dedication to improving examination quality

As a step towards raising the standard of trademark examination and achieving consistency amongst different examination units, the China Trademark Office (CTMO) recently carried out its first trademark examination quality control inspection. The inspection looked at 1,998 sample cases handled by 61 experienced examiners and 234 assistant examiners. The inspection was considered a success: a total of 97.45% of sample cases passed the inspection and the CTMO regarded a mere 2.62% of the sample cases as problematic.

Prior to the inspection exercise, CTMO officials were sent to the Patent Office to swap experiences and study the case management systems used by IP authorities in the United States and the European Union. In addition, guidelines and regulations addressing the particular situation of the CTMO were drafted, including: 

  • the Interim Measures for Trademark Examination Administration; 
  • the Criteria for Trademark Examination Inspection; and 
  • Guidelines for Trademark Examination Inspection.

In accordance with the Interim Measures for Trademark Examination Administration, a specialised trademark examination administration unit was also set up. This dedicated unit comprises 22 experienced examiners selected from the various examination units whose main task is to oversee and coordinate quality control work and standardise examination criteria.

To achieve the aim of pre-emptively identifying problematic issues in the examination system and monitoring the overall standard within the CTMO, the CTMO has created an inspection system and will continue to implement it by: 

  • analysing and solving any problematic issues revealed during the inspection; 
  • enhancing the training and assistance provided to examiners; 
  • developing computer software better suited to the needs of the examination work; 
  • enlarging the scale of future inspections; and 
  • instilling a strong sense of responsibility among examiners and ensuring that each examiner strictly follows standard procedures and guidelines in examining trademark cases.

Mena Lo and Elaine Mak

This is an Insight article, written by a selected partner as part of IAM's co-published content. Read more on Insight

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