Feeds

Handbags at dawn: Hermes loses Chinese trademark battle

Fashion giant not impressed with Trademark Appeal Board

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Sacré bleu! Apple isn’t the only big name brand facing a trademark KO in China at the moment, after French fashion giant Hermes lost a key legal battle with China’s Trademark Appeal Board.

Shanghai Daily reported that although the purveyor of luxury goods has had its English language name registered since as far back as 1977 in China, it had failed to do the same for its Simplified Chinese trademark.

Unfortunately for Hermes, Guangdong-based fashion outlet Dafeng Garment Factory registered a trademark, 爱玛仕, which was dangerously similar to the Chinese name of Hermes, 爱马仕 (differing by just one stroke on the character "ma").

Despite appealing to the trademark board in 1997, it was the Guangdong company which won the right to brand itself with the pinyin moniker and its registration was formally completed in 2001, the report said.

Hermes reportedly appealed again to the board in 2009 that given its fame across the planet it should be allowed to have the trademark, but was again denied.

Now it has lost its battle to have the board’s decision scrapped after the court ruled that Hermes wasn’t necessarily a well-known brand in mainland China and that it couldn’t be proved that the trademark was obtained by Dafeng by “deceptive means”.

The case comes as Apple desperately tries to convince the authorities in the People’s Republic that it is the rightful owner of the IPAD trademark in the country. It is due in court on Wednesday to appeal the decision of a Shenzhen court in December 2011 which ruled that failed monitor biz Proview is the owner of the trademark.

In the meantime, Proview has already persuaded the authorities in several cities in the country to ban the sale of iPad devices and even filed a suit in the US alleging it is Apple and not itself that is the deceiver in all this.

China is notorious for its grey market as well as the trade in more obvious rip-offs, which many Western companies have argued seriously undermines their brand value and their ability to make money in the country.

Last week it emerged that a company making gas stoves had even chosen to emboss its products with a ripped-off Apple logo and branded the shiny machines with the iPhone moniker. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.