"TAG Heuer" Survived Trademark Free Rider Attack

发布时间: 2017/12/22 10:06:00



  As a prestigious watch brand of LVMH Swiss Manufacturing, Ltd., TAG Heuer entered China formally in 2002. However, it was in 2009, the seventh year after its debut, that the brand was dragged into a dispute - a Chinese company filed the registration application of No. 7477778 trademark "TAG HEUER" in Class 35 service such as promotion for others.


  Recently, the trademark dispute came to an end. Beijing High People's Court made the final judgment that the registration and use of the trademark in dispute may damage LVMH's rights of well-known trademark on No.268951 TAG HEUER, ordering the Trademark Review and Adjudication AboardTRAB under the State Administration for Industry and CommerceSAIC to revoke the approval of registration of the trademark in dispute and make a de novo decision on the trademark in dispute.


  The trademark in dispute was filed for registration by the Hong Kong Hinrich Trade Co., Ltd. in June 2009. In August 2010, SAIC's Trademark OfficeTMO cleared the trademark in dispute to be used on Class 35 services such as the promotion of others, import and export agency.


  The trademark in dispute was later transferred to Hong Kong Heige Book Co., Ltd. in 2013. In November 2010, LVMH filed an opposition application to TMO. In November 2012, TMO approved the registration of the trademark in dispute. LVMH then petitioned to TRAB for another look. After review, in February 2014, TRAB ruled that the trademark dispute should be approved for registration. LVMH brought the case to Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court, who would reject its claim.


  LVMH did not take No for an answer and appealed to the Beijing High People's Court. During the trial of the case, Heige Company supplemented more evidence such as the trademark transferring contract of the trademark in dispute in order to prove that it acquired the trademark in dispute in good faith.


  After trial, Beijing High held that the trademark in dispute does not belong to any trademark that is harmful to the socialist ethics or has other adverse effects, and that the trademark in dispute and the citation trademark do not constitute similar trademarks for similar products or services. At the same time, Beijing High People's Court held that the evidence in the case was sufficient to prove that the citation trademark had constituted a well-known trademark before the registration of the trademark in dispute was filed. The letter of the trademark in dispute is the same as the citation trademark which constituted the imitation to the citation trademark. Moreover, the letter "TAG HEUER" of the citation trademark is not a fixed foreign language for strong significance, in hence, Heige's application for registration of trademark in dispute is hardly in good faith.


  Accordingly, Beijing High made the final judgement to revoke the decision by the first instance and the adjudication by TRAB, and ordered TRAB to re-adjudicate LVMH's request for review on the trademark in dispute. by Wang Guohao



Editor Che Xingming


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