(By You Yunting) Tudou.com (NASDAQ:TUDO) are connected with trademarks in different kinds of services relating entertainments under Class 41. However, Tudou.com failed to apply for its website name as a trademark by virtue of previous similar trademark. Tudou.com is focusing on providing services of video-sharing and video on-demand, but we found out its major services cannot be applied for trademark protection. Therefore, how to deal with this trademark application puts forward higher requests for trademark lawyers. In today’s post, we will introduce this case and discuss the comments in the following.
(By Luo Yanjie)Abstract: Pursuant to Chinese Trademark Law, those applications having unhealthy influences shall not be used as trademarks. “Unhealthy influences” refers to a negative, or inactive influence that may detrimental to the interests and social order of the public, including political, economic, cultural, religious and ethnic allusions which are a registered trademark itself or a mark that is applied to goods or services. However, the Chinese Trademark Office should have a consistent attitude regarding the trademark adjudication standard for these unhealthy influences.
(By You Yunting) In the end of 2013, the Beijing Higher People’s Court rejected Apple Inc.’s trademark opposition towards “苹果” trademark (read “Pingguo” in Chinese and referring to “Apple” in English) under Class 28 for game console against Zhongshan Readboy Electronics Co., Ltd. Thereafter, Apple Inc. has gone through 4 procedures, including the Trademark Office’s opposition proceeding, TRAB’s review procedure and two administrative actions and ultimately lost the “苹果” trademark under Class 28 for game console. The following are abstracts from the judgment of the final trial and our comments.
(By You Yunting) Kellogg Company, an American multinational food manufacturing company, produces cereal and convenience foods, including cookies, crackers and fruit-flavored snacks. However, in China, someone tried to apply for “Kellogg” as a trademark under Class 41 for educational services. After discovering this, Kellogg Company filed an opposition, but suffered a setback at first in that both the TRAB and Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court rejected its claim. After Kellogg Company appealed, Beijing Higher People’s Court supported its claims, on the ground that the disputed trademark infringed the prior enterprise name of Kellogg Company.
(By You Yunting) It is well known that GAP is a famous brand in clothing. However, in China, someone attempted to register “GAP” under Class 9 for eyewear products as a trademark. GAP has been defeating similar trademark squatting for over 20 years.
Introduction to the Case:
Applicant of a retrial (Plaintiff in the first instance and Appellant the in second instance): GAP (ITM) INC.
Respondent (Defendant in the first instance and Appellee in the second instance): Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (the “TRAB”)
(By Luo Yanjie) Abstract: To judge whether two goods are similar, generally is ruled upon the basis of the Chinese Goods and Services Classification and then on the courts’ interpretation of different cases and facts. The trademark application shall not be a means to register a mark that is already in use by another party and enjoys substantial influence, and shall also not infringe upon another party’s prior existing rights.
The statement “Goods and service are similar” refers to the goods and services that are associated with each other and thus are likely to produce confusion among the relevant public (our previous post, Why the “NEXT” Trademark could Receive Cross-class Protection in China had introduced similar problems), in which the actual situations conflict with the Chinese Goods and Services Classification of the Chinese Trademark Office (the “CTMO”). In today’s post, we would like to introduce a typical case.
(By Luo Yanjie) Abstract: Generally, two goods that fall into the same similar group constitute similar goods. “Similar goods” refers to the goods that are identical in such respects as the function, purpose, industry, sales channel and consumers; or goods that are likely to lead the relevant public into thinking they are associated with each other and cause confusion.
Trademark registration in China applies the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (the “Nice Classification”). Every year the State Trademark Office in China will update the Chinese Goods and Services Classification in accordance with the Nice Classification. A trademark shall be registered in accordance with the Chinese Goods and Services Classification. When a trademark dispute brought to a court, the Chinese Goods and Services Classification is not used only as a reference for judgment of similar goods or services.
(By You Yunting) Earlier in November, China’s Trademark Office announced canceling Burberry’s trademark of the “Haymarket Check” in China, known as iconic tan, black and red tartan (the “disputed trademark”), under Class 18 for packaging and bags because Burberry had not even used the registered trademark for over three years in China by the media.
A Chinese bag and apparel maker Polo Santa Roberta, who had disputes with Burberry for many years, filed an application with the China’s Trademark Office for revoking the disputed trademark that Burberry had not used for over three years. The State Trademark Office decided to revoke Burberry’s trademark due to inadequate evidence from Burberry after consideration, but Burberry applied for review with the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, triggering heated debates in China.
Abstract: To determine whether a prior copyright could defend itself against a later trademark right, whether the foundation of copyright exists should be the first enquiry. That is to say, it is worthy of discussion whether an author receives copyright for a single calligraphic character in calligraphic works.
Pursuant to China’s laws and regulations, prior ownership of copyright in a work is a defense against a later trademark right. In determining whether a prior copyright can defend itself against a later trademark right, however, the first matter to be decided is whether the foundation of copyright exists. That is, whether the author obtains copyright for a single calligraphic character in calligraphic works. In today’s post, we will introduce and discuss a typical case as follows: