China Court Decision Repeals TRAB’s Ruling for Unified Review Standard


(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.


Lessons to Be Learned from Apple Losing Their Apple Trademark for a Game Console in China


(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.


Why Could “Kellogg Company” not be Registered under Class 41 for Educational Services?


(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.


Why the TRAB Removed the Johnson & Johnson’s “ONETOUCH” Trademark?


(By You Yunting) U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Guilin Zhonghui Biotechnology Co., Ltd are in fierce competitions on blood glucose test strips in China. Johnson & Johnson has always accused Guilin Zhonghui Biotechnology Co., Ltd of producing counterfeits of Johnson & Johnson’s OneTouch blood glucose test strips used by patients with diabetes, but did not receive support of the courts in responding litigations. Recently, Guilin Zhonghui Biotechnology Co., Ltd won this dispute through revoking Johnson & Johnson’s ONETOUCH trademark. The followings are the case introduction and our analysis.


How Many Internet Products and Services are Added by the CTMO into Trademark Protection?

(By You Yunting) Abstract: The Chinese Trademark Office (the “CTMO”) strengthens the protection to the Internet products and services in adding the service items, including cloud computing, tablet computer, electronic reader, social-networking site and online bank, into the Chinese Goods and Services Classification. Protection category of Apps that applied to mobile network is, however, still not clear.

Trademark registration in China shall apply to 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 CTMO will make a new amendment to the Chinese Goods and Services Classification and in 2014 the CTMO revised the tenth edition of the Chinese Goods and Services Classification.


Can Apple Register iMessage trademark in China?

HIGHLIGHTS: Apple recently applied trademark registration for its “iMessage” in U.S., and no doubt such registration will also be conducted in China soon. Bridge IP Commentary will analyse the prospect for such registration in China and also introduce the related local trademark laws and regulations. 

It is reported that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) filed three different trademark applications for “iMessage” with the USPTO recently. iMessage is Apple’s newly developed instant messaging software basing on mobile internet devices.