Levi's Ruled Not Well-known Enough To Unseat Namesake TM Used Elsewhere

发布时间: 2018/1/10 11:21:00

  The seven-year trademark dispute over LEVIS between Levi Strauss & Company and Guangzhou Baifu Plastics Company has finally come to an end recently. According to the final judgment made by the Beijing High People's Court, Levi Strauss failed to stop Guangzhou Baifu from registering the LEVIS trademark on unprocessed plastic products, although the LEVI'S and LEVI'S and its figure have been registered by Levi Strauss &Co., and certified to be used on jeans.

  The trademark in question was No.7714607 LEVIS, which was filed for registration by Guangzhou Baiofu to the Trademark Office (TMO) under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) on September 21, 2009, certified to be used on Class 1 products including polypropylene, unprocessed plastic and synthetic resin. On September 13, 2010, the trademark in question was preliminarily approved and published by TMO.

  Nearing expiration of the publication opposition period, Levi Strauss filed an opposition request with the TMO citing that its NO.1489308 LEVI'S and No.1497177 LEVI'S and figure trademarks were famous ones on clothes and jeans. It also cited that similarity was constituted when the trademark in question was used on similar products. In parallel, the trademark in question had damaged the prior right of Levi Strauss, which was an act of squatting of its prior trademark. The registration and use of trademark in question would mislead consumers, undermine market order and cause ill effect. Levi Strauss requested TMO to revoke its registration.

  On June 19, 2012, TMO upheld the registration of the trademark in question. The disgruntled Levi Strauss then brought the case to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB), also under SAIC. On February 10, 2014, TRAB decided to side with TMO.

  Levi Strauss & Company then brought the case to Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court.

  After hearing, the court held that the products on which the trademark certified to be used are of very wide range. Even if the cited trademarks were ruled well-known, the privileged protection scope granted could not extend to the classes allowed for the trademark in dispute. In parallel, Levi Strauss failed to prove that prior to the filing date of the trademark in dispute, LEVI'S had certain reputation in the products of the trademark in dispute. Even if the registration of trademark in dispute was malicious, the trademark itself and its elements did not produce harmful effect on politics, economy, culture, religion and ethnic groups of China. Besides, the jean products on which the cited trademarks certified to be used and that of the trademark in dispute are not the same or similar products, and Levi Strauss failed to prove that its products had enjoyed reputation on unprocessed plastic products.

  Accordingly, Beijing No.1 denied the complaint of Levi Strauss, which would later seek the last resort at Beijing High People's Court.

  Unfortunately, it had to eat the same punch. As said earlier, Beijing High rejected the appeal of Levi Strauss and upheld the decision of the first instance. (by Wang Guohao)

  (Editor Li Xingyi)

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