May 29, 2015
57 Varieties, including “Feeding bottles; Condoms”
57 Varieties, including “Feeding bottles; Condoms”
Heinz’s recent success in setting aside a Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO) refusal for an opposition against the Chinese characters (亨氏) for the HEINZ house mark is a promising development for big Western brands in China. Heinz originally filed an opposition in 2008 against a Chinese individual’s 2006 application that covered ""feeding bottles; condoms"", relying on its pre-2006 well-known reputation in the process. The Court found, contrary to the lower authorities, that Heinz’s evidence and reputation of their own use of the Chinese characters demonstrated a sizeable market share and reputation. The opposition has now been remitted back to the CTMO for further determination. The combination of China’s first-to-file system and high bar in establishing a well-known reputation has long proven problematic for brand owners. When considered alongside the increasing willingness of the Chinese authorities to find damage based on dilution as well as confusion, it is hoped that this decision will pave the way for a relaxation of the CTMO’s examination standards when assessing well-known trade mark claims.
Food & Drink /  Trademarks

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