HongFangLaw ~ Chinese IP Law Updates ~ n’ 16
06 March 2017

Legal Risks of using a Sign Identical with or Similar to the Name or Sign of the Red Cross for Commercial Use

The Red Cross emblem is a sign of international humanism protection and the symbol of the Red Cross Movement, reflecting humanity and compassion. The sign of “Red Cross Society of China” is the Red Cross on white background.

The current widely used Red Cross emblem is derived from the birthplace of the Red Cross Movement, Switzerland, and it is the color-switched version of the Flag of Switzerland.

In accordance with the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China, it is stipulated that a sign identical with or similar to the name or sign of the Red Cross may not be used as trademarks and may not be used as a non-registered trademark commercially.

In recent amendments the “Red Cross Law of the People’s Republic of China” was recognized, it was stipulated that, were a party to use a sign identical with or similar to the name or sign of the Red Cross commercially, he shall be subject to legal liabilities, which are further defined in the Law. The Law shall come into effect on May 8, 2017.

It is stipulated that, “It shall be prohibited from using the sign of the Red Cross for profit-making.?It shall be prohibited from falsely using, abusing, tampering the sign and name of the Red Cross under any circumstances.” Where a party violates the stipulation, it shall assume civil responsibility, criminal liability and administrative responsibility.

The sign of the Red Cross is distinctive but its elements are simple, which could be easily used in logos, posters and packages. Therefore, enterprises and individuals shall consider with more attention to avoid using a sign identical with or similar to the name or sign of the Red Cross in business operation and promotion.

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