It is no secret that trademark infringements are rampant in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC” or “China”). As the popular phrase goes, “???,???,” which translates to “feigning as brand name companies and free riding on their coattails,” these cases have steadily increased over the years. In fact, in 2012 alone, PRC courts have heard 19,815 trademark civil cases and 1,123 trademark administrative and unfair competition cases. With the rising number of disputes, PRC courts have taken an active stance to resolve disputes and protect companies from improper trademark infringements and unfair competition. Most notably, in March 2013, the Supreme People’s Court issued guidance on two “typical” cases that pertain to the fashion apparel industry, highlighting the direction in which PRC courts are handling infringement cases.
Two “typical” cases on trademark infringements -
1. Jack & Jones: Infringement on Domain Name -
One trademark infringement case involves the leading Danish men’s apparel company Jack & Jones. In Jack & Jones, Defendants Cui Huan and Du Xinghua registered the domain name of jackjonescn.net without the Plaintiff Bestseller Company’s (the company with exclusive Jack & Jones trademark rights in China) authorization, using this domain name to establish a Jack Jones Chinese website. The defendants’ website included multiple infringements of Jack & Jones trademarks, including heavy use of the name and logos in website search results, main webpage, and company introduction. The defendants also used Jack & Jones trademarks and images in the clothing catalog to sell fake Jack & Jones products.
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