Feeds

Handbags at dawn: Hermes loses Chinese trademark battle

Fashion giant not impressed with Trademark Appeal Board

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.