The Extension of the iPad Trademark Battle: Proview Charged iPad Distributor GOME in China

According to Guangzhou Daily, the widely concerned iPad trademark conflict is oiled by the battle between Proview and GOME (HKEx: 00493), the distributor of iPad. And the new dispute has been brought to the Shenzhen Futian People’s Court and heard on 30th, December, 2011.

Shenzhen Proview claims itself the legal trademark owner of iPad, and as investigated, GOME sold the tablet with iPad trademark in its stores with no license from GOME, therefore, the misconduct of GOME shall be the trademark infringement. Thereby, Proview demands GOME stop selling the tablet, destroy all the marks or package related to the infringement, cancel any propaganda concerning iPad and take all the expenses on the investigation, evidence collection and other reasonable costs.


Coca Cola Gets the Preliminary Win in the Case of “Qoo” against “Ku Wawa” in China

It was reported by  the Beijing News and Legal Evening Paper that the Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court (“Court”) has sentenced the case Coca Cola charging the infringement of the trademark “Ku Wawa” registered in the against Coca Cola’s copyright of designed trademark “Qoo”, judging that the Trademark Review and Adjudication shall rescind its approval for trademark registration of “Ku Wawa” and make a new decision.

The Court held that the trademark “Ku Wawa” bore no material similarity with  the trademark “Qoo”, which however was registered by Coca Cola in 2001, and for this reason “Ku Wawa” shall not infringe the copyright of “Qoo”. On the other hand, although the registered products of beer of “Ku Wawa” is different from the beverage of “Qoo”, they actually relate in consumers and marketing approaches. Accordingly, the Court decided the trademark “Ku Wawa” constitutes a similar trademark used in the similar products, which could be trademark infringement, and demanded the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board cancel “Ku Wawa” and make a new decision.


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


According to China Court’s First Instance Judgement, Apple Loses the iPad Trademark

According to the latest news, Shenzhen Media People’s Court judged on the iPad trademark conflict between Apple Inc (the “Apple”) and Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (the “Proview”), and Apple’s claim of Proview’s infringement against its trademark was rejected. That means the ownership of iPad trademark in China still belongs to Proview.

For this case, Bridge IP Law Commentary has expressed our opinions and analysis in the No “iPad” Chinese trademark right for Apple after payment in the transaction. And we anticipate that Apple may appeal to the higher court, while the case may end up in the consequence that Apple shall lose iPad trademark in mainland China shall the higher court maintained the judgment.