Feeds

Handbags at dawn: Hermes loses Chinese trademark battle

Fashion giant not impressed with Trademark Appeal Board

The Power of One Infographic

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.