King & Wood’s Trademark Group
On November 9, 2011, the China Trademark Office (the "TMO") has partially adjusted its official website for the purpose of facilitating the public in browsing and searching information about recordal of pledges of exclusive rights to registered trademarks. The adjustments are in respect of the place of the information, the means of disclosure and the items of disclosure.
Thanks to such adjustments, the public may directly search whether the exclusive right of a registered trademark is pledged in the column "Use of Trademark Rights" on the TMO website, including name of the pledgor, name of the pledgee, the registration number of the pledged trademark, and validity period of the pledge. Moreover, the pledge information in e-charts has changed to web links below which the public may find a collection of information of pledges as of November 2009.
It should be noted that certain requirements must be met for filing a trademark pledge, otherwise the TMO will refuse, or even cancel the completed recordal according to the Procedures for the Recordal of Pledge of Exclusive Rights to Registered Trademarks in the following circumstances: the contract of pledge becomes invalid or cancelled, the right to use the pledged registered trademark is no longer exclusive due to legal procedures, submission of fraudulent certificate documents, or pledges filed in any other misleading ways.
Furthermore, once the recordal of pledge is completed, the pledgor or the pledgees still need to pay attention to carry out procedures in future circumstances, such as change of pledge, renewal of pledge, removal of recordal of pledge, and reissuance of the recordal certification for pledge. When the name of the pledgor changes, a change of registrant name recordal must be filed to comply with the Regulation for the Implementation of China Trademark Law, in addition to the recordal of change of pledge. (Written by He Ran and Sophie Fu)