A Bitter Glass of Wine: the Intermediate People’s Court of Wenzhou Orders a Wine French Company to Pay RMB 33 Million Compensation

In April of this year, the Intermediate People’s Court of Wenzhou (Wenzhou is the third biggest city in Zhejiang Province) ordered a French wine producer and trader (namely Castel Freres SAS) as well as its Chinese distributor to pay a RMB 33 million (approximately Euro 4 million) compensation for infringement of a trademark registered in China.

In 1998, a Spanish citizen originally from China, Mr Li Daozhi, applied for the registration of the trademark “Castel” in Chinese (卡斯特, kasite) in class 33 (alcoholic beverages) in China. The registration of this trademark was granted in 2000. Continue reading

Chinese Courts Target Taobao.com: Good News for Trademark Owners?

In April 2012, the Supreme Court of the People’s Republic of China published a collection of the most important decisions issued in 2011 regarding the protection of intellectual property.

Precedents are not binding in China. However, the decisions selected by the Supreme People’s Court (which has occurred since 2007) have great weight and authority.

One of these decisions concerns Taobao.com. This is a very popular website of the Alibaba Group for the on-line sale (B2C) of a wide range of products.

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Is it Unfair enough? Remedies against Unfair Competition

Recently a European company was telling me that (at least) one Chinese company was copying and selling two lines of its products in China and other countries. (Let’s assume that the products in question are furniture.)  The question was whether it was possible to take advantage of the remedies provided by the anti-unfair competition legislation against the counterfeiter. (Needless to say this European company had not registered the design of its products in China.)

There is an Anti-Unfair Competition Law in China. The name seems to suggest a law that provides unconditional protection to the victims of their competitors’ illegal unlawful or unfair commercial practices.

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