From the SAIC:
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) recently released the Trial Provisions for Online Trademark Application, which clarifies the relevant procedures for online trademark application. Applicants may directly submit their trademark applications online, or entrust trademark agencies to handle it.
From now on, applicants or trademark agencies may submit the application documents through the China Trademark Office website? http://www.ctmo.gov.cn ?from 8:00 to 16:30 every working day. At the moment, the application for collective trademarks and cases with foreigners or foreign enterprises as applicants or joint-applicants without entrusting any trademark agencies shall not enjoy the online application service.
Kind of an exciting development, although it is just a pilot project and does not apply to foreign companies yet (most of my business). In the long run, an expanded online service would theoretically allow home office trademark counsel to file directly and without the need of an agent.
Granted, I am assuming that no one will ever need advice on registrability or search results, which is not going to happen. On the other hand, there are a lot of routine filings out there that could be taken care of by in-house folks.
This could eventually put a lot of trademark agents out of business, huh?