China recently amended its Trademark Law in an attempt to provide further protection for IP rights. The bill recently passed focuses on two major aspects: (i) avoiding filing of malicious trademark applications, and (ii) combating trademark infringement under stronger and more severe remedies.
The first aspect is addressed by the introduction of a general principle, stating that any malicious application for trademark rights, which does not involve a real intention to use the trademark, shall be refused. Likewise, the amendment sets that trademark agents are compelled to refrain from accepting any commitment related to malicious trademark applications.
Trademark infringement, on the other hand, will be faced by more severe and strict remedies, increasing the statutory damages maximum limit. In this regard, concerning bad faith infringement and serious cases, monetary awards calculated under Chinese law may be five fold. Amendments will be effective 1 November 2019.