Wuliangye Company filed a lawsuit against a trading house in Shenzhen and claimed the indemnity of RMB200,000 since it used the trademark of Wuliangye in the advertisement outside the trading house. Shenzhen Luohu People¡¯s Court thinks that the act performed by the trading house is an infringement so the trading house should cease the infringement immediately and compensate for Wuliangye Company RMB70,000. The judge warns that the operators should improve the law consciousness and do not use registered trademarks without authorization including in the advertisement outside the shops.
Wuliangye: Trading house uses the registered trademark without authorization
Wuliangye Company indicates that Sichuan Yibin Wuliangye Group is the right holder of the Wuliangye trademark and has the exclusive right to use the trademark. Others should use the trademark under the authorization or the entrustment of Wuliangye Company. In September, 2010, the value of the Wuliangye brand was up to RMB526.16 billion.
In 2011, Sichuan Yibin Wuliangye Group entrusted Wuliangye Company to use the trademark of Wuliangye with the exclusive license and the general license and also mentioned that Wuliangye Company could file lawsuits in its own name if there were actions which infringed the exclusive right to use the registered trademarks in mainland China.
In July, 2012, Wuliangye Company found that the trading house in Shenzhen was using the trademark of Wuliangye and its pattern and applied Notary Office for preservation of evidence. Wuliangye Company considered that the trading house used the trademark of Wuliangye without authorization which infringed the trademark right of Wuliangye Company, so Wuliangye Company filed a lawsuit against it and request an order to stop the infringement immediately, a public apology on newspapers and a compensation of RMB200,000 including attorneys' fees and economic losses.
Trading House: Propagate Wuliangye indeed
The journalist from Yangcheng Evening Newspaper learned that the trading house, the defendant, was established in 2009 as an individual-owned enterprise and its business scope was the pre-packaged food wholesale with the effective food circulation license. At the beginning of the establishment, considering the sales of the alcoholic products including Wuliangye, the trading house used the trademark and the pattern of Wuliangye as the advertisement to impress customers and to expand product sales.
In the view of the trading house, using the trademark of Wuliangye didn¡¯t infringe the exclusive right to use registered trademarks as long as they didn¡¯t produce or sell fake Wuliangye products. Besides, they propagated for Wuliangye indeed as they used the trademark of Wuliangye in the advertisement, so it was unreasonable for Wuliangye Company to file a lawsuit against it instead of paying the advertising expenses.
Court: Trading house infringed the exclusive right to use registered trademarks
Luohu People¡¯s Court thinks that the focus of dispute in this case was whether using the trademark of Wuliangye in the advertisement was an infringement. According to the Trademark Law, ¡°The use of trademarks referred to in the Trademark Law and these Regulations include, among other things, the use of trademarks on goods, packages or containers thereof and commodity trading instruments, or use of trademarks in advertisements, exhibitions and other commercial activities.¡± The trading house used the trademark of Wuliangye in advertisements to do commercial activities, which was an infringement upon the exclusive right to use registered trademarks. The trading house should bear the corresponding liability according to law, so the trading house should cease the infringement immediately and compensate for Wuliangye Company RMB70,000
Shenzhen Luohu People¡¯s Court thinks that the act performed by the trading house has infringed the two registered trademarks of Wuliangye, so the trading house should compensate for Wuliangye Company RMB70,000. Other claims of Wuliangye are dismissed. The journalist from Yangcheng Evening Newspaper learns that both sides are not appealed the judgment, and the judgment is now in force.
Information Provided by Yangcheng Evening Newspaper