Could Milk Powder Manufacturers Win the Lawsuits Against NDRC’ s Vertical Monopoly Penalty?

(By You Yunting) According to Chinese National Development and Reform Commission’s (“NDRC”) announcement, recently NDRC carried out anti-monopoly investigations into milk powder manufacturers and imposed fines on multiple offenders. When combined this announcement with the second instance court’s decision on Beijing Rui Bang Co., Ltd that was released last week by Shanghai Higher People’s Court, we have seen a sharp difference between NDRC and Chinese courts’ understanding of Article 14 of the Anti Monopoly Law. Therefore, if the punished milk powder manufacturers file an administrative lawsuit against NDRC’s fines, the Chinese court may not necessarily agree with the commission’s decision nor hold the punishment to be legal.


Full Text of NDRC’s Public Announcement on Milk Powder Manufactures’ Vertical Monopoly of Price Control


(By You Yunting) According to the latest announcement on Chinese National Development and Reform Commission website, NDRC’s carried out anti-monopoly investigations into milk powder manufacturers and imposed fines. Based on this announcement, we found that there are different views between NDRC and Chinese courts on the understanding of Article 14 of the Anti Monopoly Law. With regard to the court’s understanding that milk powder formula in this case is effective competitive, the milk powder manufacturers shall not the determined as violating the the Anti Monopoly Law even if they conducted price control. Following is our translation for this public announcement.


How Large Is the Scope of Protection for Well-Known Trademarks in China? (II)


In yesterday’s post, we introduced trans-class protection for well-known trademarks and the factors that might lead to this status being granted. Today, we would like to conclude by explaining situations in which well-known trademarks will not be granted trans-class protection.

III. Situations where trans-class protection will not be granted to well-known trademarks

As discussed above, well-known trademarks only enjoy trans-class protection when meeting the following conditions. Now, we will introduce some common situations where trans-class protection cannot be achieved:


How to improve the success rate of trademark registration in China?

Highlight: Foreign companies should ask the Chinese trademark agency to take trademark retrieval and give advice of feasibility of the trademark keyword before applying the trademark.

The most frequently consulted question by foreign companies to us is that what measures could be taken when trademark application is refused in China.

    In accordance with our experiences, it is more difficult to get the trademark that has been refused approved, however, under most circumstances, the basic success rate for trademark application can be known through the prior trademark retrieval service. For the avoidance of any influence on company’s brand strategy from application failure, alternative names or together-applied backup names are suggested to those trademarks difficult to apply.

The rejection of trademark application may cause large losses and damages to enterprises’ brand strategy. Generally, the company tends to schedule the brand strategy, including brand positioning, advertisement and protection before unveiling the product. However, it may cost 1 to 1.5 years from application to registration or rejection due to administrative refusal, which may challenge the brand strategy of the company shall the company was unprepared.