Recently, Nippon Soda’s sue against a Chinese company for trademark infringement has come to an end by a rule from Beijing Supreme Court in favor of the Chinese company.
The Chinese defendant, Shanxi Meibang, had submitted application for trademark “JIATUO” in July 2001 and registered by AIC, P. R. C in September 2002. Nippon Soda, complained that the trademark has made infringement for its “TOPSIN-M” brand and asked the National Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (NTRAB) twice to withdraw the trademark from Meibang in 2004 and 2007 respectively. Afterwards, the NTRAB, Beijing intermediate court, Beijing Supreme Court have all ruled each twice in favor of Meibang from 2004 to 2011.
The recent judgment focus of the disputes that whether the “JIATUO” has infringe upon the special name “TOPSIN-M” from Nippon Soda and whether they are similar products trademarked in similar trademarks. The Supreme Court considers that the two trademarks have distinct character layout and pronunciations, thus the similarities in Chinese abbreviation of “TOPSIN-M” and “JIATUO” would not be confused by the relevant public. Furthermore, the TOPSIN-M from Nippon Soda is 70% wettable powder or 50% suspension of the fungicide thiophanate-methyl, while the “JIATUO” from Meibang are series of products.
An official from Meibang told Agropages that the registration public notice period of the trademark “JIATUO” dated from June to September 2002 when Nippon soda kept silence and raised the objection two year after the registration while the “JIATUO” gained considerable popularity among the public. The malicious action from Nippon Soda has expended Meibang almost 1 million Yuan for the lawsuit, however the company is excited about the unprecedented. “Chinese company will be not necessary the loser in trademark dispute against foreign companies.” commented Zhang Jihong, President of Shanxi Meibang.
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