New regulations on enterprise name registration enter into force
On 1 March 2021 the Amendments to the Regulations on Administration of Enterprise Name Registration came into effect, after being signed into law by Prime Minister Keqiang Li on 28 December 2020. The updated version has 26 articles and is a long time coming, as the original regulations were promulgated in 1991 and revised twice afterwards, with the last amendment in 2012.
The new regulations offer several provisions that right holders can fall back on when fighting businesses piggybacking on their reputation or goodwill by registering or using an offending enterprise name.
Now, Article 16.3 states that applicants who file to have an enterprise name registered must ensure that the information and material they submit is true, accurate and complete and undertake to bear legal liability should their enterprise name be found infringing for being confusingly similar to the name of another’s business.
Previously, even when a court decision stated that an enterprise name had been improperly registered or used, and should be changed or its use stopped altogether, the registrant usually procrastinated. To target this, Article 23 now provides that an enterprise must change its name within 30 days of receiving an effective legal document from the court or the enterprise name registration authority, as long as an order has been issued that the use of the enterprise name be stopped. The name will then be mandatorily replaced with a unified social credit code. If an enterprise fails to change within the time limit, it will be blacklisted until the change is completed.
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