Date
15 December 2017
A distinctive jingle or brand music can be registered as a trademark under China's new law. Photo: Bloomberg
A distinctive jingle or brand music can be registered as a trademark under China's new law. Photo: Bloomberg

‘Sound logos’ open for trademark registration in China

A distinctive melody, or a sound logo as it is commonly referred to, can now be registered as a trademark in China under the nation’s newly-revised trademark registration law, Beijing Times reported Friday.

According to Hou Zhanheng, a judge from the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court, sound clips that are widely used and recognized, such as the opening melody of Nokia phones, the alert sound of instant messaging software QQ or the audio clip of CCTV’s evening news program, are examples of ideal candidates for such registration.

Hou was quoted as saying that he not believe the newly introduced category will trigger a flood of new registrations, as the vetting and approval procedures for sound logos are more complex and stringent, especially if the audio clips contain work of other clips.

Another highlight of the revised ordinance is that merchants and businesses can no longer use the term “Famous trademark” on their product packaging or in their promotional materials or campaigns. If they use that term, they risk a 100,000 yuan (US$15.971) fine per case of violation.

If any person or company is found to have infringed the rights of a trademark owner, or registered a trademark with malicious intent, the court can now order the party responsible to pay a compensation of up to 3 million yuan to the trademark owner, the report said.

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