How Venture Companies Should Deal with Trademark Squatting?

(By You Yunting) Recently, a news article sparked concern that the Qihu Investment Company (a similar Chinese name to Qihoo 360 Technology Co., Ltd) had rushed-registered hundreds of trademarks belonging to internet venture companies. Even though Qihoo 360 Technology Co., Ltd later clarified that it had nothing with the Qihu Investment Company, the news still attracted attention from both venture companies and lawyers. In today’s post, we would like to address how venture companies should resolve trademark squatting.


Could Audi Succeed in Applying for “SQ2”, “SQ4” and “Q9” Trademarks in Mainland China?


(By Luo YanjieAbstract: A subsequently applied trademark must not be identical with or similar to a prior trademark. The trademark submitted for registration must have sufficient characteristics that allow it to be distinguishable. A few days ago, foreign media outlets reported that Audi had filed several trademarks application for model names, including SQ2, SQ4 and Q9. This is a sign that these vehicles will likely be sold in China in the future.

According to our research, further information about those trademarks is not yet available in Mainland China. This is likely either because Audi has not started the application procedures, or because the Trademark Office has not yet input Audi’s application information online. However, this does not affect our analysis on the outlook of those trademarks in mainland China.


Could Nike Get the Trademark “Liuxiang”?

(By Luo Yanjie) Recently, the lawsuit filed by Nike against China’s Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (“TRAB”) (note: the link is in Chinese) was heard in the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. The case was brought because TRAB refused Nike’s application to trademark Liu Xiang (刘翔) for the reason that the trademark had been registered by another company twenty six years ago, namely in July of 1986. At that time, a company named Shanghai Liuxiang Company applied for the trademark Liu Xiang Brand (刘翔牌) in the class of clothing, and the exclusive period for the use of that mark will last until 2017. Incidentally, the Liu Xiang Brand trademark happens to have the same name as the famous Chinese athlete, Liu Xiang. The case is currently being heard, but the author believes Nike has little chance of winning the case. Today’s will examine the issues involved in this case.