SKECHERS Prevails in S Trademarks Battle

发布时间: 2018/4/18 10:16:00

  Recently, Fujian High People's Court rendered its final-instance decision on a trademark infringement and unfair competition case between SKECHERS U.S.A., and Spieth&Wensky Company/Quanzhou Bohai Shoes Company, revoking the decision made by Quanzhou Intermediate People's Court and ordering the two defendants to cease infringement and indemnify 3 million yuan to SKECHERS in damages.

  In the early 1990s, SKECHERS registered a host of S trademarks. In 2007, SKECHERS appeared in Chinese market and Spieth&Wensky began its operation in 2015.

  SKECHERS held that similarity was constituted as it found a dozen of Spieth&Wensky shops using the S trademark on its official website and products at the end of 2015, and some of shoes were similar with D'LITES of SKECHERS, which would cause confusion among the consumers.

  Spieth&Wensky argued that it had obtained the right to use five trademarks including No.13306821 trademark after obtaining permission from Bohai Shoes. So it had the right to distribute the above products within China and it had not violated the trademark right of others. In parallel, the trademark with authorization would not cause confusion among the public about the origin of product.

  After hearing, Quanzhou Intermediate People's Court rejected the appeal of SKECHERS. The disgruntled SKECHERS then brought the case to Fujian High People's Court.

  SKECHERS held that Spieth&Wensky had changed the color of trademark and highlighted the S character in practical using, which would confuse the public. In parallel, as a competitor, it was impossible for Spieth&Wensky and Bohai Shoes to be unaware of the fame of the S trademarks in shoes industry. So it was clear the infringement was done in bad faith.

  Spieth&Wensky argued that SKECHERS had not obtained the exclusive right of using the S character. Bohai Shoes' No. 13306821 trademark had transferred to Spieth&Wensky. So trademark infringement was not constituted.

  The Court held that the S series trademark had enjoyed popularity in China. The trademark infringement was constituted as the S symbol of Spieth&Wensky was similar with SKECHERS, and it would cause confusion among the public.

  The Court also held that the unfair competition was constituted as the famous D'LITES shoes of SKECHERS put into market earlier than Spieth&Wensky, whose shoes was also similar with that of SKECHERS.

  In this connection, the Court made the above decision accordingly. (by Li Qun)

  (Editor Li Xingyi)

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