Introduction of Examination Standard Regarding Descriptions of “Retail and Wholesale services” in Class 35 in China
date: 2022-10-11 Yijia Li Read by:

    We often see the situation: in many cases, an international registration covers services "retail and wholesale" and other related services in Class 35, while this kind of application will be rejected by the National Intellectual Property Administration, PRC (“CNIPA”) on the grounds that "retail and wholesale services are not accepted in China". The National Intellectual Property Administration, PRC (“CNIPA”) does not accept “retail and wholesale services” and other related services, except the retail and wholesale services for pharmaceutical, veterinary and sanitary preparations, and medical supplies.   In case of such official refusal, it is not feasible to overcome the rejection through review of refusal.

    There is no formal regulation describing retail and wholesale services in the Chinese trademark law.  On August 13, 2004, the CNIPA made a written reply on the issue “whether Class 35 services includes malls services and supermarkets services” (《关于国际分类第35类是否包括商场、超市服务问题的批复》).  This document concluded that the Class 35 services do not include retail and wholesale services as provided by the shopping malls or supermarkets. 

    In practice, the companies who provide retail services usually choose similar description of services in Class 35 for filing and use.  It is generally considered that “Sell for others” is the closest item to “retail and whole services,” though sometimes the officials may have different opinions.

    In light of our experiences, companies that providing retail and whole sale services still need to register the trademarks in Class 35 in China to protect their right under current practice.  If the budget allows, we also suggest applying for the trademark on other relevant goods or services.

    If the client wishes to designate related services, we often suggest using below standard items in Class 35 for consideration:




    In our opinion, the officials may tend to accept the part of "retail and wholesale services” and we will continue paying close attention to this topic.