(By Luo Yanjie) The most common trademark squatting is to register celebrity names as trademarks in China. In following post, we will introduce a case regarding where the court rejected the rush-registered trademark via the use of late celebrity names. Bruce Lee, with his Chinese name 李小龍, was a late Hong Kong American martial artist, Hong Kong action film actor, martial instructor, filmmaker and the founder of Jeet Kune Do. The descendants of the late Bruce Lee set up a Bruce Lee Enterprise, LLC in the operation of related matters to the late Bruce Lee.
(By Wang Ting and You Yunting) In enterprise name registration, if an enterprise changed its enterprise name at once, generally the new enterprise name is under protection. This means, the enterprise is no longer entitled to the rights and interests of its prior enterprise name. Such being the case, does another’s registration on the prior enterprise name cause its prior rights, or violate the Article 32 of the Trademark Law on the stipulation that the trademark application shall not infringe upon another party’s prior existing rights? Is the enterprise with a new enterprise name entitled to the prior right for its prior rights? In today’s post, with regard to those questions, the Trademark Office, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court and Beijing Higher Peoples Court were divided in their attitude.
(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.