The basic position toward the letter of consent relating to trademarks in China

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(Author: Dr. Jian Xu, the China IP Blogger)

Following an internal meeting, the Trade Mark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) of China concluded that they would consider the following when dealing with a letter of consent: 

• Similarity of marks and goods – a letter of consent cannot overcome a citation if the respective marks and goods are identical or very similar. The situation is different if the trade marks and goods are only moderately similar (even though such similarity would result in rejection of the application under normal circumstances). 

• Reputation – the reputation of the applied-for mark assists accepting a letter of consent, whereas the reputation of the cited mark is against it. 

• For some time TRAB has on a case by case basis, been accepting letters of consent even though Chinese trade mark law makes no provisions for this. It is most welcome that the TRAB have stated their position.

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