Court Sides with DreamWorks over "KUNGFUPANDA" Trademark Dispute

发布时间: 2018/1/24 10:11:00

  In 2009, nearly one year after the world's favorite animated film "Kongfu Panda" hit the screen, a local company filed a registration application for trademark "KUNGFUPANDA(Chinese: 功夫熊猫)", triggering the discontent from the U.S.-based producer DreamWorks Animation SKG, IncThis entangle would last for another seven years, going the full length of what the judicial system could offer.

  Recently, this marathon ended on a judgment by Beijing High People's Court, ruling that Shanghai Weipu Dress Co., Ltd had prejudiced the preexisting right of DreamWorks and No. 7491648 trademark "KUNGFUPANDA功夫熊猫"(trademark in dispute) cleared for registration by the Trademark Review and Adjudication (TRAB) under the State Administration for Commerce and Industry (SAIC) should be revoked and determined after a de novo review.

  DreamWorks-made Animated film "Kungfu Panda (功夫熊猫 in Chinese)" themed Chinese Kungfu premiered in June 2008 globally. Early 2006, DreamWorks filed an application of No.5400892 trademark "KUNGFUPANDA" (cited trademark), which would be approved for registration in 2009, certified to be used on products of Class 28.

  As shown in SBJ.SAIC.GOV.CN, the trademark in dispute was filed by Weipu in June 2009, certified to be used on products of Class 44. In August 2010, Trademark Office (TMO) under SAIC made the preliminary examination and published the trademark in dispute.

  In November 2011, DreamWorks lodged an opposition application to TMO, claiming that the trademark in dispute and cited trademark constituted similarity on similar products or services. In July 2012, TMO made a decision to approve the registration of the trademark in dispute. DreamWorks filed a review application to TRAB which would also greenlight the registration in November 2013. Exhausting all administrative alternatives, the disgruntled DreamWorks brought the case to Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court.

  After hearing, Beijing No.1 revoked the review ruling and remanded TRAB to make a new ruling based on that the registration application of the trademark in dispute infringed lawful civil right of the renowned film "KUNGFUPANDA" owned by DreamWorks. TRAB then appealed to Beijing High.

  Beijing High held that the registration application of the trademark in dispute illegitimately taking advantage of the popularity and reputation of the film "KUNGFUPANDA", and prejudicing legal civil right of renowned film "KUNGFUPANDA" enjoyed by DreamWorks. It had constituted the situation "No trademark application shall infringe upon another party's existing prior rights" provided in the Trademark Law of China. Accordingly, Beijing High made the final judgment to reject the appeal from TRAB and upheld the decision of the first instance. (by Wang Guohao)

  (Editor Li Xingyi)

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