CNIPA Cracks Down on ‘Clout-Chasing’ Trademark Applications
On February 14, 2022, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) issued a notice regarding “clout-chasing” trademark applications or registrations (the “Notice”). The Notice stated that CNIPA, on an ex officio basis, had refused or invalidated over 400 applications related to “???” (Bing Dwen Dwen, official mascot of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics) and “???” (Eileen Gu, a skier who won three medals in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics). Similar bad-faith trademark applications have not been uncommon throughout CNIPA’s history. In fact, clout-chasing, a specific type of bad-faith trademark application, has become much more prevalent in recent years. In response, CNIPA has issued a number of notices refusing such malicious trademark applications, especially since the April 2019 amendment of the Chinese Trademark Law.