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Intel shows Apple how to win a trademark dispute in China

Shenzhen-based Inteljet ordered to fork out £20,000

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Chip giant Intel has shown Apple how to deal with an irksome trademark dispute in China by claiming a legal victory over Shenzhen-based printing peripherals firm Inteljet over the weekend.

Chipzilla won 400,000 yuan (£20,000) in compensation after Shanghai No.2 Intermediate People's Court agreed with it that the name of Shenzhen Inteljet Digital Technology was too similar to its registered trademark, according to Shanghai Daily.

Although the court reportedly accepted the argument made by Inteljet that it had registered its name under a different trademark category, it decided that Intel’s was a famous trademark that should be protected under Chinese law.

Inteljet was effectively trying to piggy back on the success of the chip giant and its strong brand recognition in order to try and flog more kit, the court ruled.

A local Inteljet distributor was ordered to contribute 4,000 yuan (£400) to the compensation payment, the court said.

An Intel spokesperson told The Reg that the firm has an obligation to its shareholders to ensure the value of its brand is not whittled away.

"Unlike other intellectual property, trademark law requires a company like Intel to take proactive steps to protect its trademark or run the risk of losing its rights in the trademark," they added.

In the meantime, of course, fruity toy maker Apple still awaits the outcome of an appeal in its long running Chinese trademark dispute case with monitor biz Proview over the IPAD name.

Although judges in the case went away at the end of February to consider whether to overturn an earlier ruling in favour of Proview, there has been little sign of a resolution, even though the court urged both sides to seek an end to the dispute.

Apple says it bought the IPAD name from Proview Taiwan to use freely in several countries including China back in 2009, while Proview says that only its Shenzhen affiliate, which Apple didn’t deal with, had the right to sell the name for use in the People’s Republic.

Both sides have ramped up the invective in the long running dispute, which threatens to disrupt Apple’s plans to launch its new fondleslab in the country.

Although on sale in nearby Hong Kong and Macau, as well as countless other countries across the globe, there is still no release date for the nation in which the iPad is manufactured. ®

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