(By Luo Yanjie) Recently, the lawsuit filed by Nike against China’s Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (“TRAB”) (note: the link is in Chinese) was heard in the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. The case was brought because TRAB refused Nike’s application to trademark Liu Xiang (刘翔) for the reason that the trademark had been registered by another company twenty six years ago, namely in July of 1986. At that time, a company named Shanghai Liuxiang Company applied for the trademark Liu Xiang Brand (刘翔牌) in the class of clothing, and the exclusive period for the use of that mark will last until 2017. Incidentally, the Liu Xiang Brand trademark happens to have the same name as the famous Chinese athlete, Liu Xiang. The case is currently being heard, but the author believes Nike has little chance of winning the case. Today’s will examine the issues involved in this case.
Last year, the Supreme People’s Court issued the final decision in the protracted dispute between LACOSTE and CARTELO. The decision clarifies cases involving long brand history and could guide future hearings on similar disputes in courts of all levels. In the decision, LACOSTE lost the lawsuit, and no infringement was found on the part of CARTELO. In the judgment, the Court took the first steps towards establishing a system of “trademark coexistence,” which means the coexistence of similar trademarks in the same class, for use in China’s trademark cases. Today’s post will provide an analysis of the application of this system in China.
By You Yunting
According to a news report (note: the link is in Chinese), the iPad battle in China has ended in reconciliation with Apple’s payment of 60 million dollars to Proview by the agreement. However it seems that Proview will soon be trapped in another dispute afterwards and related to the battle, its agents of Grandall Law Firm (the “Grandall”) filed a lawsuit to the local court on the 23rd of July, demanding the professional fee of 2.4 million dollars.
As introduced by the attorneys from Grandall, their entrustment by Shenzhen Proview was on a contingent fee, by which it could gain 4% of the total conciliation expenses or the compensation (namely 2.4 million dollars by the final settlement agreement). Also all the litigation fee or expenditures paid for custom record in the trademark battle was firstly paid by Grandall. However, after the end of the dispute, Proview refused to cash the fees into Grandall’s account as agreed and has even collected the money paid by Apple at the end of June.
By You Yunting
According to the report, an insider said :” The New iPad will be officially on sale in the middle of this month in China mainland. Many dealers have begun to book orders. In addition, the insider said that Apple Inc and WeiGuan company have reached a” reconciliation” on some extent in the case of trademark IPAD in mainland.
According to the information announced by the website of Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center (A department under Chinese Ministry of industry and information technology ) in the end of last month, a mobile device of Apple( Apple, Inc., AAPL ) compatible with China Unicom ( China Unicom Ltd., CHU ) has obtained the license. From the wording of Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center, the device should be the Apple ‘s new iPad.
As interviewed by China media Shanghai Business, when could come the decision of the 2nd instance on the iPad dispute, which hearing will be held on 29th February, 2012, Mr. You Yunting replied as follows:
For the court is less likely to make the decision on the coming hearing on the case, we estimate no such decision could be made till the expiration of the lawsuit time limit. By PRC Civil Litigation Law, the hearing on the appealed case shall be decided within 3 months from the filing day of the 2nd instance. For any prolonged on the procedure, it shall be approved by the chief judge of the court. Therefore, we estimate the case could be decided 2 months after the hearing for it could be filed 1 month before the proceeding, and the specific date of the decision may be the end of April.