The question is how is the Chinese system working today?
China is working towards establishing a robust legal framework for IP protection. China’s trade mark office is the busiest in the world. According to the latest WIPO statistics, in 2014 the Chinese office received over 2 million new trade mark applications (which increased to over 3 million in 2015/2016 and continues to grow), which is more than four times the next busiest office, the USA, and dwarfs the 64,500 received by the Australian office. This volume obviously places an enormous burden on the Chinese system, one that is unprecedented in all other countries, but also demonstrates the importance of the IP economy in China.
In good news for applicants, the Chinese Trade Marks Office now boasts that applicants can get a registration certificate within 12 months (less than time taken for the average Madrid system application). However, in order to maintain to such a short turnaround time, examiners have become increasingly rigid in their acceptance of specifications, and less experienced examiners can be more likely to reject ‘borderline' applications where similar marks exist but, if more thoroughly considered, would be unlikely to cause confusion.
As a result, the increased efficiency and predictability gained for many applications as a result of the amendments can make other applications more frustrating and time-consuming.