(By Luo Yanjie) According to the Trademark Law, the geographical names of administrative divisions at or above the county level, and foreign geographical names well-known to the public shall not be used as trademarks, except for geographical names that have other meanings or are not geographically-oriented. However, under certain circumstances, geographical trademarks shall, if they are of sufficient distinctiveness as a whole, may be considered to have the requisite requirements of distinctiveness. In today’s post, we will introduce such a typical case for our readers.
(By Luo Yanjie) Early in this year, JDB Inc., the famous herbal tea manufacturer argued with Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Company (the “GPC”) regarding ownership of the Wang Lao Ji trademark, which concluded in JDB being ordered to cease its use of the trademark. Now, JDB has begun its second battle with GPC, this time accusing GPC of infringeing the trademark “Ji Qing Shi Fen (吉庆时分).” Wanglaoji Health Industry Co. Ltd. (Guangzhou Wanglaoji Company) affiliated with GPC, recently made a statement that the State Trademark Office had accepted its application to revoke the registration of “Ji Qing Shi Fen (吉庆时分)”, the main reason being that the mark is considered generic in the sense that it is vocabulary in common use. Due to this, the State Trademark Office further advocated that it is uncertain whether there can be any exclusive right in the use of the registered mark.
It is reported that the British Lotus who will adopt “路特斯”, the transliteration of Lotus in Chinese, as its local brand in China due to a Chinese domestic company first registered the trademark of “Youth Lotus”. It’s also mentioned in the report that British lotus lost the trademark though it should have the chance to get it through the trademark refusal review. Today, Bridge IP Law Commentary will introduce you the system of review on the trademark refusal in China.
As regulated in the Article 32 of China trademark law: