(By You Yunting) China is a heavily administrated and controlled country. If administrative approval is not obtained, business activity such as producing and selling of Alcoholic beverages, medicine, etc., could be ruled to be invalid by the court. According to the Trademark Law of China, once the trademark has not been used for three continuous years, it could be eliminated. There is a significant amount of people who uses their right to their trademark however, many people fail to obtain the proper administrative approval or violates administrative rules. This brings us to the issue of whether or not such a trademark should be removed even though it has been used. For this kind of cases, we find an example in the 10 annual cases of 2011 promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court of China. In that case, the Supreme Court overturned its opinions expressed in the previous year, “Kangwang Trademark Dispute”, in which the court determined that despite a shortage of administrative approval, the using of the trademark is sufficient according to the Trademark Law.
(By You Yunting) The Luzhou Qian Nian Liquor Co., Ltd. (“Company L”) found that its competitor, the Shandong-based Zhu Ge Jia Liquor Co., Ltd. (“Company S”) acquired three trademarks from a company that had its registration for the marks cancelled five years prior to the trademark transfer. Following this, Company L filed a request to have the trademark revoked, because it had not been used for a continuous three-year period. However, the Trademark Office denied the application, and Company L requested a review of the decision, which was also rejected, leading Company L to ultimately file an administrative lawsuit. In the lawsuit, Company L was equally unsuccessful, and the court refused its demands in both the first and second instance. Following a series of rejections, Company L then appealed the case to the Supreme People’s Court (“Supreme Court”) for a rehearing.
By Albert Chen
By the local news report in China, at the settlement of the dispute between Blizzard and Valve on the DOTA trademark (Please CLICK HERE for our past post on it), a new battle over “DOTA” has begun. A local registered company in Shandong Province in East China recently lettered to online shopping website like Taobao.com, claiming it has full right to use the trademark of “DOTA” in class 25, which covering clothes, shoes and hats. Also, the company presented the certificate to the trademark right with the letter. Therefore, the company accused the websites the infringement for selling the clothes with DOTA marked on it. For the news, we retrieved the database of Trademark Office of PRC, and by the check, the trademark does belong to Wang Yongbao, the name indicated on the certificate, while it remains unknown through which methods does the company get the license to use the trademark from Wang. Meanwhile, it also comes to our attention that, in addition to Wang, the trademark of DOTA has been registered under other individuals or units’ name in different classes, involving Zheng Miao in Class6 and Ningbo Jiangbei District Dong Tai Clothing Co., Ltd., in Class 26, etc.