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Lacoste v Cartelo: a landmark case clarifying the rules on confusion and co-existence (2024)
The dispute between Lacoste and Cartelo, which has spanned over two decades and involved multiple court cases, has come to a new stage. Lacoste, a globally recognised brand known for its iconic right-facing crocodile logo, found itself embroiled in legal battles with Cartelo, a company that adopted a similar, left-facing crocodile symbol for its products.
May 17 2024
New foreign GI regulations take effect in China, with some contradictions
On 1 February 2024, two regulations issued by the China National IP Administration (CNIPA) on 29 December 2023 will enter into effect. The regulations provide details on the registration, administration and protection of geographical indications (GIs).
Feb 01 2024
Supreme Court awards New Balance Rmb30 million in damages in dispute with infringer (2024)
On 26 September 2023 the Supreme People's Court of China issued a final judgment finding that Jiangxi Xinbailun Lingpao Sporting Goods Co Ltd and Guangzhou Xinbailun Lingpao Sporting Goods Co Ltd (collectively ‘Lingpao’) had infringed the iconic ‘N’ trademark of New Balance and the trade dress of New Balance Trading (China) Co Ltd, a subsidiary of New Balance, and had thus committed acts of trademark infringement and unfair competition.
Feb 01 2024
Hubei High Court upholds 10-million yuan damages award to Michelin for misuse of Cantonese name
On 8 November 2023 the Hubei High Court issued a judgment in the long-running Michelin saga, upholding the first-instance decision and clarifying some interesting aspects about well-known status of trademarks in China (2022 E Zhi Min Zhong no 190).
Dec 13 2023
Chinese courts sanction Ford’s misuse of ‘Cognac’ on automobiles
The dispute involved the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) - the French organisation responsible for promoting and safeguarding the geographical indication (GI) ‘Cognac’ - and the Chinese affiliates of Ford Motor Company, a prominent automotive supplier (hereinafter referred to as ‘Ford China’).
Dec 07 2023
Michelin dispute sheds light on when similar trade names constitute unfair competition
The Zhejiang High Court has upheld a first-instance decision that determined infringing use of a trade name that constituted unfair competition. The word ‘Michelin’, which is the name of a French company famous for its tyres, as well as the Michelin Guide, is written ‘米其林’in Chinese – pronounced ‘mi qi lin’. This Chinese name is registered, along with Michelin, in Classes 12 (tyres) and 16 (the guide).
Nov 22 2023
Michelin's well-known trademarks protected against use for pet food and pet hospital
Michelin tyres and the Michelin Guides are the two core product lines of the Michelin Group. The increasing popularity of Michelin in China recently led the company to take enforcement measures not only against tyre manufacturers or restaurants and catering businesses, but also against pet-related products and services.
Nov 01 2023
CNIPA recognises distinctiveness of Tommy Hilfiger’s ‘TH’ interlocking pattern (2023)
June 06 2023
TOMMY HILFIGER v TOMMY CROWN: ‘transformative use’ of registered trademark found to be infringing
TOMMY HILFIGER v TOMMY CROWN: ‘transformative use’ of registered trademark found to be infringing
Apr 05 2023
Beijing IP Court finds no bad faith in defensive trademark registration (2023)
In a recently surfaced administrative decision, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court has sided with the applicant for a defensive trademark, finding no foul play in the applicant’s conduct. Rendered on 26 December 2022, the decision considered whether the defensive trademark registration constituted a bad-faith application for a trademark that was not intended for use, which is banned by Article 4 of the 2019 China Trademark Law.
Mar 07 2023
Plaintiffs’ subjective intentions underlined in infringement counterclaim ruling (2023)
A decision rendered by the Putuo District Court of Shanghai in October 2022 has been freshly published by IPHouse, bringing it centre stage once more. In this, court dismissed a trademark infringement suit and partially upheld the defendant’s counterclaim by awarding 70,000 yuan in attorney fees. This decision is a crucial one because it highlights that the courts are paying increasingly close attention to plaintiffs’ subjective intentions.
Feb 08 2023
Hermès awarded Rmb2 million in damages for misuse of its trademark and iconic design elements by real estate developer (2022)
Hermès is a prestigious French fashion house. Since 1837, it has remained faithful to its artisanal model and humanist values. The Hermès brand and the iconic commercial designs associated with Hermès enjoy a high reputation around the world.
Aug 18 2022