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Ten Frequently Asked Questions for Chinese Customs Recordation of Intellectual Property Rights

On September 30, 2022, the General Administration of Customs  of China released a list of ten frequently asked questions and answers for intellectual property customs recordation in China.  Recordation of intellectual property in China with customs can block both import to China and export from China. As China remains a major source of counterfeit goods, recordation to block export can be more efficient than blocking import at multiple destinations.

What are the benefits of recording an intellectual property right with the General Administration of Customs?

  1. It is a prerequisite for Customs to take proactive protective measures. According to the “Regulations on the Customs Protection of Intellectual Property Rights,” if the owner of the intellectual property rights has recorded its intellectual property rights with the customs in advance, the customs has the right to suspend the import and export of the infringing goods on its own initiative, and investigate and deal with the infringing goods.

  2. Help customs find infringing goods. When applying for recordation, the intellectual property rights owner needs to provide the legal status of the intellectual property rights, the contact information of the rights holder, the legal use of the intellectual property rights, the suspected infringing goods, relevant pictures and photos, etc. so that customs may find the goods suspected of infringement in routine inspection and administration process and detain them.

  3. The economic burden of intellectual property rights holders is light. Under the Customs ex officio protection mode, the maximum guarantee provided by the intellectual property rights holder to the Customs is no more than RMB 100,000, and at the same time, a general guarantee can be applied to the General Administration of Customs. If the owner of the intellectual property rights has not recorded the intellectual property rights in advance, it must provide security equivalent to the goods it requests to detain.

  4. It can have a deterrent effect on the infringer. Customs confiscate imported and exported infringing goods and impose administrative penalties on importing and exporting enterprises. Recording intellectual property rights as soon as possible can have a deterrent effect on those enterprises that imported and exported infringing goods without any scruples in the past, and urge them to consciously respect the relevant intellectual property rights.  In addition, some enterprises that are not maliciously exporting infringing products may also check records to find out whether the goods they undertake to process and export may constitute infringement, so as to avoid economic losses due to customs detention of goods.

Do I need to go to the [physical] customs business site for IPR customs protection filing?

[No].  Simply log in to the website of the “Intellectual Property Rights Protection Filing Subsystem” (URL: http://202.127.48.145:8888/), follow the process of user registration, filling in and submitting IPR recordation data, and the General Administration of Customs will make a decision to approve or reject the application within 30 working days from the date of filing.

Tip: At present, the browser of the customs protection filing system for intellectual property rights has been upgraded. It is recommended to use Google Chrome, IE9 and above.

Do I need to pay a filing fee for filing for an IP recordation?

No. According to the Announcement No. 51 of 2015 of the General Administration of Customs, from November 1, 2015, the General Administration of Customs will suspend the collection of recordation fees for filing applications to the General Administration of Customs for intellectual property protection.

Does the intellectual property right holder have to submit a separate application for each intellectual property right that it applies for recordation?

Yes. The intellectual property right holder shall submit a separate application for each intellectual property right for which it applies for recordation. When an intellectual property right holder applies for the recording of an international registered trademark, it shall submit a separate application for each category of goods it wants recorded.

Can an overseas intellectual property right holder entrust a domestic agent to conduct intellectual property filing?

Yes. Where an intellectual property right holder entrusts a domestic agent to file an application, it shall use a power of attorney in the prescribed format, which can be found on the IPR Customs Protection Recording Subsystem.

Do I need to apply to the General Administration of Customs for modification or cancellation after the recorded intellectual property rights have changed?

If the filing of intellectual property rights changes, the intellectual property rights holder shall, within 30 working days from the date of the change, go through the formalities of filing a change or cancellation with the General Administration of Customs. If the intellectual property rights holder fails to go through the modification or cancellation procedures as required, which has a serious impact on the lawful import and export of others or the customs’ performance of supervision duties in accordance with the law, the General Administration of Customs may revoke the relevant filing according to the application of the relevant interested parties or on its own initiative.

Can I apply for renewal of IPR customs recordation that is about to expire?

Yes. The recordation of customs protection of intellectual property rights will take effect from the date of approval and filing by the General Administration of Customs, and will be valid for 10 years. If the validity period of the intellectual property rights is less than 10 years from the effective date of the filing, the validity period of the recordation shall be subject to the validity period of the intellectual property rights; if it exceeds 10 years, the maximum validity period of the recordation shall be 10 years. If the intellectual property rights are valid at expiration of recordation, the intellectual property rights holder may submit a written application for renewal of the filing to the General Administration of Customs within 6 months before the expiration of the recordation validity period and attach relevant documents.

I have forgotten the account and password of the customs protection system for intellectual property rights. Is there a solution?

Yes. If you forget the account and password of the customs protection system for intellectual property rights, you can apply to the Intellectual Property Protection Division of the General Business Department of the General Administration of Customs to inquire about the above information. Email: [email protected].

I want to check whether there is a Customs IPR recordation. Is there any relevant method?

Yes.

Path 1: Log in to the portal website of the General Administration of Customs (website: http://www.customs.gov.cn), click “我要查” in “互联网+海关”, and then click “知识产权备案” to enter the Intellectual Property Customs Protect the filing subsystem for inquiries.

Path 2: Enter the URL: http://202.127.48.145:8888/ to enter the intellectual property customs protection filing subsystem.

The intellectual property recordation has been revoked by the customs, can it be re-recorded?

Yes, after one year of revocation. If the General Administration of Customs revokes the recordation, and the intellectual property right holder applies for recordation again within one year from the date when the recordation is revoked, the General Administration of Customs may not accept it.

© 2023 Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 290
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About this Author

Aaron Wininger IP Attorney China Portfolio Development
Director of China Intellectual Property Law Practice Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner

Aaron Wininger is a Principal and Schwegman’s Director of China Intellectual Property. Aaron counsels both U.S. and Chinese companies on portfolio development and preparation of their patent applications and office action responses. He has worked with clients in the areas of software, networks (wired and wireless), lasers, medical devices, semiconductors and physics.

Aaron prosecutes both Chinese and U.S. trademarks. He has also drafted and prosecuted hundreds of U.S. and international patent applications in a broad spectrum of areas, including computer hardware and software, the...

408-278-4059
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