Logo for 70th Anniversary of Nation's Founding Protected as Special Symbol

Recently, China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) announced that under the Administrative Regulations for Special Symbols, an application of the logo for events in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) filed by the State Council Information Office (SCIO) for special symbol registration was approved, certified to be used on all 45 categories of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks from August 27, 2019 to August 27, 2023. 

The logo was unveiled by the SCIO on this past June 3. According to the Office, the logo may be used nationwide at festive events and public outreach activities in connection with the 70th anniversary and is prohibited for commercial advertisement, trademark composition or any other commercial activities as well as at private celebrations and funerals. Meanwhile, products affixed with the logo shall be close to the theme of the anniversary and misuse and abuse is forbidden. 

"The approval of the special symbol registration has provided a potent basis for use, administration and protection of the logo, which can effectively curb any commercial activities and misuse as well as malicious squatting for trademark registration and use," said Zhang Zhicheng, Director General of CNIPA's IP Protection Department, adding that the logo as a public-interest special symbol represents national dignity and image. It is necessary to vigorously protect the symbol by law and prevent other organizations and individuals from using it for commercial purposes. 

"Special symbols are unique because instead of directly reflecting the source of the goods or the provider of the service, they indicate the goods or services carrying them are related to national and international cultural, physical, scientific research and other public-interest activities sanctioned by the State Council and generally composed of names and abbreviations with characters and figures, emblems and mascots," said Zhang, adding that special symbols may appear on relevant products or services with permission. Any fund raised through the use of a special symbol, either by its owner or by other parties via license from the owner, shall be infused to the public-interest work served by the special symbol and assume the supervision from the State Council agencies specialized in finance and audit. 

In an effort to crack down on infringement of special symbols, relevant agencies have already adopted certain measures. For instance, the State Administration for Market Regulation, assisted by CNIPA, formulated the Iron Fist Action Plan for IP Enforcement 2019 in April, highlighting sanctions against infringement of special symbols as one of the five main tasks. According to the Action Plan, law enforcement of special marks centers on international and national sports, cultural events and infringement of the exclusive rights of special symbols will be severely punished. Focusing on clothes, toys and souvenirs, law enforcement officers heightens patrol key areas including wholesale markets, key retail streets and tourist locations with eyes trained on illegal use of marks and sales of infringing goods, cultivating a sound environment for relevant events. 

(Source: China IP News)