- Register only your non-Chinese name, this is unwise, because it invites Chinese counterfeiters to jump into the vacuum;
- Register also a translation of the meaning of the mark into Chinese, a so called conceptual translation. Shell, the energy provider, choose to translate the meaning of the external skeleton of a mollusc: 壳 shell you pronounce ke2 in Mandarin and hok3 in Cantonese; 牌 brand you pronounce pai2 in Mandarin and paai4 in Cantonese;
- Another option is to register a transliterated or phonetic translated mark. This can be a great route, if you choose characters that correspond to the characteristics of the brand. Coca-cola transliterated its brand into "ke kou ke le", but then you have to find Chinese characters that fit to your brand: if you do not pay attention you can find Chinese characters that are pronounced in Mandarin as "ke kou ke le", but which mean: "female horse fastened with wax". However, the Coca-Cola company paid attention and came with the splendid result: 可 ke3 (approve) 口 kou3 (mouth) together means tasty, 可 ke3 (approve) 乐 le4 (joy) or in the words of Marc Garnaut "permitting the mouth to rejoice".
After you choose between these options or a combination thereof, you have to decide whether you want to register traditional Chinese characters (used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) or simplified Chinese characters (used in People's Republic of China and Singapore).
More about the trademarks and the special challenges in translation/transliteration of non-Chinese words into Chinese characters can be found in the powerpoint presentation of Paul Jones, of Toronto-based law firm Jones & Co., pages 18-31. The white paper of Marc Garnaut of Spark Media Lab is also about translating logos and brands into Chinese for the Chinese market, here.