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

Civil Litigation in China: Notable Practices

China civil litigation proceedings and the conduct of Chinese judges can often seem very authoritative, almost intimidating. In reality, much of Chinese civil litigation procedure is not as clear-cut or well-defined as it may appear. These ambiguities may pose problems for parties unfamiliar with civil litigation in China. Outlined below are some of the key areas of Chinese civil litigation proceedings which require your attention.

First, in China, briefings and arguments from either party involved in a proceeding may be submitted to the judges during the hearing within tight time constraints. Consequently, parties may be surprised when new documents or requests appear during the hearing, and lawyers must be ready to deal with unexpected new information or circumstances on the spot. In most Western jurisdictions such information or requests must be submitted at certain times beforehand so each party can adequately prepare for the hearing. This Chinese litigation practice may create uncertainty for the parties involved, hindering their capacity to represent themselves to the best of their ability.

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