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In certain circumstances in New Zealand and Australia, a single, bona fide use of a trade mark is sufficient to rebut an allegation of non-use.A provision for ‘contributory infringement’ has been added to the new law, where assisting or providing conditions to facilitate infringement are considered offences.A licence, which has not been recorded, cannot be used by the licensee to enforce trade mark rights against a third party.

Under the new law, the window to renew a trade mark registration will be extended to 12 months before the expiry date.

Supposedly, this requirement has been introduced to ‘maintain market order’, however it could represent an unnecessary burden for some businesses. Similar to the New Zealand Trade Marks Act 2002, a person will not infringe a registered trade mark if prior use of the mark before the date of filing can be established.

This may provide some relief where a business has used an unregistered mark in China, and where the mark is subsequently registered by a third party in bad faith.

Thus, the opposed application will be allowed to proceed to registration in respect of the unopposed goods/services.

Where an opposition is unsuccessful, it will no longer be possible to request a further judicial review.

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