New Balance trademark infringement, sky-high price compensation reveals Chinese enterprises

“New Balance” trademark infringement, sky-high price compensation reveals Chinese enterprises
Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court recently sentenced New Balance Trading (China) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as New Balance Company), the seller of the famous sports brand NEWBALANCE, to compensate Guangdong shoe company owner Zhou Moulun for 98 million yuan, because New Balance Company violated Zhou Moulun’s enjoyment.New Balance trademark rights.  The judgment result of this case has aroused the attention of public opinion. In terms of Chinese public awareness, New Balance is undoubtedly the Chinese name of NEWBALANCE, a famous American sports brand. Few people know that the real owner of the New Balance trademark is a shoe in Guangdong.Business owner.  The Chinese sports goods company Sugar Daddy’s entrepreneurship and development model are not rare, but what may surprise many people is that in the case of Zhou Moulun’s lawsuit against New Balance, the court’s final decision was that New Balance paid 98 million to Zhou Moulun.Yuan’s sky-high compensation.  Li Zhenhong, a lawyer from Shanghai Dacheng Law Firm, gave a professional explanation of the result of such a judgment. The protection of trademarks in Chinese law adopts a registration system, that is, whoever registers first and who has the right to own the trademark.However, in the United States, the protection of trademarks by law is the use system, that is, whoever uses the trademark first, who obtains the trademark ownership.  It is not uncommon to register Chinese trademarks of well-known foreign brands in China. However, Zhou Moulun’s application for the New Balance trademark is not a cybersquatting.  According to the “Guangzhou Daily” report, the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court found that in April 2004, Guangzhou businessman Zhou Moulun obtained a clothing, shoes and hat trademark called Bailun through the transfer.Zhou Moulun said that he later designed a trademark called New Balance due to business development needs, and filed an application for registration with the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in June 2004.In the process of registering a new trademark, the New Balance Sports Shoes Company, an agent manufacturer of NEWBALANCE in China, filed an objection with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in 2007.  The company believed that Zhou Moulun’s New Balance trademark copied and imitated NEWBALANCE, and requested the State Administration for Industry and Commerce to reject its trademark registration application.On July 18, 2011, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce ruled that the reason for the company’s objection was not established, and the New Balance trademark applied for by Zhou Moulun was approved for registration.  This shows that New Balance still insists on using the trademark even if it knows that the New Balance trademark has been legally registered by others.  Xu Xuan, a professor at the School of Law of Jinan University/School of Intellectual Property, believes that the trademark confusion in this case is exactly the opposite of the confusion referred to in the traditional trademark law, which is reverse confusion. It generally occurs when the registered trademark of the plaintiff is less known than the defendant’s trademark.Such reverse confusion will significantly weaken the plaintiff’s purpose of using the trademark in question to establish a commercial reputation and develop the market, resulting in the plaintiff’s trademark recognition being distorted or obscured.If it is not stopped, it will cause well-known enterprises to use other people’s registered trademarks without any scruples, thus resulting in unfair competition consequences of weak meat and strong food.  Therefore, the court ruled that New Balance lost the first instance.  However, in the Chinese sporting goods industry, the situation of the local brand Bangyang brand is commonplace, so many cases have been triggered.The most famous case is that Adidas sued King Addi, and Michael Jordan sued Jordan Sports.  However, Adidas eventually spent a lot of money to buy the trademark of Adidas King, and Michael Jordan’s prospect of suing Jordan Sports was not optimistic about the industry.Regardless of the outcome of these cases, it is a reminder to Chinese sports brands.Zhang Qing, a sports marketing expert and president of Beijing Key Way Sports Consulting Co., Ltd., told reporters that Chinese sports goods companies need to upgrade from’Made in China’ to’Created in China’.虽然‘傍大牌’对企业创建初期的业务发展有利,但相关案件的发生也说明,当企业发展到一定阶段,品牌的建立、维护和提升都是一项必可不少的工作,‘傍大牌’Sooner or later it will cause trouble.

Tags: , , , , , , ,