HongFangLaw ~ Chinese IP Law Updates ~ n’ 67
07 September 2018

HongFangLaw won the “2017-2018 Excellent Trademark Agency Case” award

From August 31 to September 3, 2018, the 2018 China International Trademark Brand Festival was held at the Tangshan International Convention and Exhibition Center. As one of the major events held around the field of intellectual property, the China International Trademark Brand Festival has an important position in the national intellectual property strategy market. At the same time, the China International Trademark Brand Festival is also a world-renowned international “brands for trademark” event, aiming to serve enterprises to better build internationally renowned brands, promote international exchanges and cooperation, build a communication platform between government and enterprises, and to be highly recognized by domestic and foreign trademark brand experts alike. The event drew the attention of scholars, entrepreneurs, and related professional institutions.

This year’s trademark brand festival organized 17 sub-forums and 5 trademark salons around the theme of “creation, protection and application” of trademarks. It has gathered many entrepreneurs, trademarks agents, and scholars in the field, as well as professionals from all over the country. In addition, foreign authorities shared cutting-edge news and information about trademarks.

The climax of this year’s trademark brand festival was undoubtedly the awarding of prizes for excellence and the announcement of the “excellent trademark agency case” award. In this year’s Trademark Brand Festival, Mr. Zhang Zhaolong’s (Bob Zhang) “‘Cat Force Steps” trademark opposition was awarded the 2017-2018 Excellent Trademark Agency case. This case demonstrated how to effectively protect the names of works with high visibility and the names of characters in the works with prior commercialization rights. It was an excellent practice case for its display of relatively new problems in the trademark field around the protection of prior commercialization rights. In addition, we also believe it is worth mentioning, that HongFang won last year a similar award the “2016-2017 Excellent Trademark Agency case” with the “Fa Qi Bao” trademark refusal review case, during the previous trademark brand festival.

The selection of the annual excellent trademark agency case is utilized as a way to summarize and publicize the innovative practices and advanced experience of trademark agencies and establishing a good case benchmark to play the role of guidance and future reference. The excellent trademark agency case was selected by a number of applicants from an expert jury composed of the heads of trademark authorities, well-known experts and scholars in the intellectual property field. The consecutive awarding of HongFang’s “Fa Qi Bao’s” trademark refusal and “‘Cat’s chaos” trademarks cases are undoubtedly a reaffirmation of HongFang’s trademark agency level.

“Cat force chaos” trademark opposition
Main reasons for the selection and legal significance of the case:

The prior rights advocated in this case are the right to commercialization based on the name of the best-selling work and the name right based on the author’s pseudonym. This prior right is different from the more common copyright, portrait or trademark rights. In the previous relevant laws, there was no clear definition of “commodity right”, which was only reflected in some cases. However, the name of the work or the name of the role does allow the owner of such work or name to gain reputation, fame, popularity, etc. through the work, name, etc., and the owner can combine the above-mentioned reputation, fame, popularity, etc. with additional goods or services. Commercial use of such relevance and popularity might be abused to achieve economic benefits by infringers of the right.

Article 22 of the Supreme People’s Court’s Regulations on Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Administrative Cases for the Recognition of Trademark Authorizations, which was adopted in 2017, may be used as a prior commodities interest for the name of the work with higher visibility and the role name in such work. For this reason, protection had to be clearly defined. The case, starting from the writing of the objection grounds and considering the preparation of the relevant evidence to the final decision of the Trademark Office in accordance with the law, was in line with the legislative spirit of the law, and as such the protection of the prior commercialization right was well practiced.

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