On May 28, the amended Trademark Review and Adjudication Rules (Decree No. 65 of State Administration for Industry and Commerce, hereinafter referred to as the "Rules") was released, which will come into force on June 1, 2014.
The Rules defined the different types of trademark review and adjudication cases, differentiated the procedure of invalidation announcement review and review cancellation procedure, and clarified the adjudication scope of review cases on non-registration. The time limit for supplementing or correcting documents is shortened to 15 days, and the time limit for supplementing evidence is shortened to 30 days. Provisions were added that documents may be submitted or served through data messages. According to the provisions of the Implementing Regulations on the Trademark Law (Revision Draft) (Draft for Review), "open review and adjudication" is revised to "oral hearing".
The Rules also fine-tuned the relevant review and adjudication procedures: (1) clarified the cases that can be adjudicated by a single trademark review and adjudication officer; (2) clarified the way to correct non-substantive errors; (3) added relevant provisions on re-hearing of court rulings, making it clear that a collegial panel should be formed anew to conduct re-hearing, during which new evidence submitted by the parties can be admitted. In order to further regulate evidence admittance, the Rules prescribed that evidence not exchanged and cross-examined shall not be admitted.
According to the Rules, if the party to the case applies to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board for review of a decision on rejecting a trademark registration application, or a ruling on certain objections, prior to the implementation of new Trademark Law, and the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board hears the case after the implementation of the new Trademark Law, except for subject qualification of review cases on objection, other procedural issues and substantive issues should be governed by the new Trademark Law. With regard to cases on invalidation announcement, invalidation announcement review cases, or review cancellation cases that are accepted by the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board prior to the implementation of the new Trademark Law but are heard after the implementation thereof, the new Trademark Law should apply to the procedural issues while the old Trademark Law should apply to the subject qualification issue. With regard to trademark review cases accepted prior to the implementation of the new Trademark Law, the time limit for adjudication should be calculated from May 1, 2014.