Major IPR disputes in China

Updated: 2013-08-23 10:32

(China Daily)

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Nike Inc vs. Trademark Appeal Board

In December 2012, Nike Inc locked horns with the Chinese Trademark Appeal Board for the rights to use the Chinese-language name of noted Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang for marketing purposes. The trademark authorities rejected Nike's petition.

SAIC Motors vs. Dongfeng Motors

In June 2012, SAIC Motor Corp, the biggest-selling Chinese carmaker, said it "exclusively acquired" light bus technologies from British commercial van maker LDV Group Ltd, indicating that Dongfeng Motor Corp, the second-largest carmaker in China, was in infringement of its patent rights.

Major IPR disputes in China

Apple Inc vs. Shenzhen Proview Technology

In December 2012, Shenzhen Proview Technology, a small company on the edge of bankruptcy, sued Apple for using the iPad trademark in China. The Shenzhen company said it had got patent protection for the trademark in 2000. Apple later agreed to pay $60 million (45 million euros) to end the case.

Michael Jordan vs. Qiaodan Sports Co

In February 2012, NBA star Michael Jordan filed a lawsuit for wrongful use of his name in China, and accused Qiaodan Sports Co of profiting illegally by using his name on its marketing materials and products. "Qiaodan" is the Chinese translation for "Jordan" and has been used by the Fujian-based company since it registered the name in 2000. Qiaodan Sports has countersued Jordan for damaging its reputation. No court decision has been made yet.

Pfizer vs. Guangzhou Viamen Pharmaceutical Co

In July 2009, Pfizer lost its final appeal for the Weige, Chinese for Viagra. The court decisions and actions by the State Intellectual Property Office indicate that Guangzhou Viamen is now the undisputed owner of the Weige trademark in China.

Starbucks Corp vs. Shanghai Starbucks Cafe Co

In 2004, Starbucks Corp and Shanghai Unified Starbucks Corporation considered Shanghai Xingbake Cafe Co's use of the Chinese and English name of Starbucks as infringement of their trademarks and unfair competition, and sued the company in court. The local company was ordered to stop using the name Starbucks and pay 500,000 yuan ($81,650; 61,000 euros) to Starbucks and its Chinese partner.

Major IPR disputes in China

Louis Vuitton vs. Shanghai Lianjia Supermarket

In first half of 2006, Louis Vuitton discovered that Shanghai Lianjia Supermarket used five trademarks exactly the same as or similar to its registered trademarks while promoting three kinds of handbags at a favorable price. The Shanghai company was ordered to pay 300,000 yuan compensation.

Chanel Co vs. Beijing Silk Market

In September 2005, Chanel Co took action against Xiushui Company, accusing it of selling fake purses and urging it to take measures to prohibit trademark infringements. The court judged that the market should stop infringement immediately and compensate Chanel for economic losses and other reasonable expenditure incurred in the litigation.

New Line Productions Inc vs. Beijing Sohu Information and Internet Communication Co

In March 2005, New Line Productions discovered that Sohu provided as many as 100 American movies through its website to consumers for monthly payments without the plaintiff's permission. New Line Productions claimed the copyright of the movies were protected by Chinese laws. Sohu was ordered to stop its infringement immediately, make a statement on the entertainment section of its website for three days, and compensate for economic loss.

GM vs. Chery

In 2002, GM's subsidiary, General Motors China Group, claimed that it was probing suspected copying of models of GM Daewoo Matiz I and Magnus by China's Chery. Chery rejected the allegation of IPR infringement and said the car models were developed by its own technologies. The parties reached a settlement in November 2005, saying in a joint announcement that they had solved all disputes.

(China Daily 08/23/2013 page7)