Another iPad Like Battle for WeChat (微信) Trademark Dispute?


 (By Albert Chen) In yesterday’s post, we analyzed why Tencent would confront with the trademark squatting, and mainly blamed it for the defect on the internal management. Today, we would continue our discussion, and share our opinions on how could Tencent take back or stop the first application by others.

Before the end of this year, no one would oppose “iPad battle” shall be the trademark dispute of the year, and yet with the breaking out of conflict on the trademark of “微信”, a LBS software from Tencent Inc. (the “Tencent”) and its English name is WeChat, that affirmation would be challenged.


Comments on the Trademark Squatting of HERMES

Another Lesson from the Negligence of Trademark Localization

It’s reported (note: the link is in Chinese) that the well-known luxury brand HERMES INTERNATIONAL has registered its international trademark of HERMES in China as early as in 1985, while its official Chinese name 爱马仕 is unregistered. While, on the other hand, Dafeng Garment (the “Dafeng”), a clothing company admitted in Foshan City of Guangdong Province registered the Chinese trademark of爱马仕 in September of 1995, though it was disputed later in 1997 and 2001, Dafeng still owns the right of the trademark. In 2009, HERMES INTERNATIONAL registered爱马仕 in the class of tie manufacture, which was refused by the trademark office and remained rejected by the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (the “Board”) after the review procedure. After that HERMES INTERNATIONAL filed the lawsuit against the Board, but finally the court supported the decision made by the Board.


Could There Be Any Improvement on Facebook’s Trademark Application Strategy in China?

Could the Unregistered Trademark be Legally Protected in China?

We  have been consulted for many similar cases this year, and most involving the operational difficulties or brand dilemmas that  foreign companies face due to trademark squatting. These unregistered trademarks could also be legally protected in certain situations, though normally the trademarks shall be first administratively approved for legal registration. Today, Bridge IP Law Commentary will introduce to you the matters related to unregistered trademarks.

I. The reputed unregistered trademark


McDonald’s Lost the First Instance of the Trademark Administrative Lawsuit against Wonderful

We once reported the administrative refusal on Mcdonald’s opposition on Wonderful’s trademark (the W trademark) which is similar to Mcdonald’s “M” trademark (you may check the details in How Could McDonald’s Beat Free Rider of Trademark in China?). After that, Mcdonald’s initiated the administrative lawsuit on the refusal.

According to Beijing Morning Post’s report on 10th December, Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court judged on the first instance of the administrative lawsuit, refusing the claims of Mcdonald’s.


How Could McDonald’s Beat Free Rider of Trademark in China?

Highlights:This article introduces the case initiated by McDonald’s to protect its trademark right against malicious imitation and the related laws and regulations in China, also the legal suggestions from Bridge IP Commentary to McDonald’s in the case that to protect its right basing on the general vocabulary defined in the Trademark Law and the copyright of its trademark.

Recently, the McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) administrative litigation against the imitation of its trademark by a Beijing company attracts the media’sattention. Several years ago, the trademark “wonderful and its graph” (hereinafter referred to trademark “W”)was registered by  the company in the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, and the registered ranges include restaurant, café, research and development, clothing design and so on. On finding the trade mark and the judgment of similarity with its “M”, McDonald’s then filed an opposition against the trademark to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board(hereinafter referred to the Trademark Board) under the State Administration of Industry and Commerce for re-examination. The Trademark Board finally decides to cancel the registration of the trademark “W” in the field of restaurant, café, cocktail party service, hotel, bar, teahouse service, however, while to maintain the registration in clothing design and package design. Therefore, MacDonald filed an administrative litigation to the Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court to cancel the decision of the Trademark Board.