According to data recently released by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), the number of trademark grants in China fell by just over 45% in the first half of 2023 compared to the first half of 2022. Specifically, 2,018,119 trademarks were granted in the first half of 2023, compared to 3,673,925 in the first half of 2022. The number of foreign trademark grants also decreased from 98,650 to 60,776 (a decrease of about 38%) in the first half of 2023, although the share of foreign origin granted as a percentage of total trademark grants increased from 2.7% to 3%.
The number of utility model and design patents granted in China also decreased by 25% and 10% respectively, of which invention patents increased by 10%.
CNIPA did not provide any justification for the decline in trademark grants, but there could be several factors, including the crackdown on bad faith trademark filings, the economic slowdown indicated by the 0.8% month-on-month GDP growth rate in the second quarter (trademark filings may be considered a leading economic indicator), and the end of lockdown in the fourth quarter of 2022 (which led to a wave of COVID-19 infections and therefore could slow down trademark filings and prosecutions due to worker absences). Note that Hu Wenhui, deputy director of SIPO, said at a press conference earlier this month that SIPO "cracked down on a total of 249,000 bad faith trademark registrations" in the first half of 2023, implying that the latter two factors are more likely.