最新二十篇文章公告:判決與法律命令之解析、契約與商業模式之範例
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目前分類:中國商標註冊與商標法 (2)

瀏覽方式: 標題列表 簡短摘要

How to protect a trademark from infringement in China? – Counterfeits

All counterfeits are infringements but that does not mean all infringements are counterfeits. There are general principles of interpretation with a view to deterring counterfeit activity. The Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984 for example, adopts the original Lanham Act definition of counterfeit that:

A “counterfeit” is a spurious mark which is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a registered mark.[1]

Such “counterfeit” mark must be used on the same services or goods which are covered by IP right owner’s registration. Nevertheless, it is not necessary for the infringers to know IP right owner’s mark is being registered.[2] Intellectual property right owner frequently employ private investigators to detect alleged counterfeit goods. Defendant cannot bring up an excuse of willful blindness against the penalties of the counterfeit statute.[3]

The general rule attributed by the Supreme Court in the Ives case[4] indicates that:

“[L]iability for trademark infringement can extend beyond those who actually mislabel goods with the mark of another. Even if a manufacturer does not directly control others in the chain of distribution, it can be held responsible for their infringing activities under certain circumstances. Thus, if a manufacturer or distributor intentionally induces another to infringe a trademark, or if it continues to supply to its product to one whom it knows or has reason to know is engaging in trademark infringement, the manufacturer or distributor is contributorily responsible for any harm done as a result of the deceit.”[5]

China for example, the purpose of recording IP rights at custom in China is to stop exporting and importing infringement product. The General Administration of Customs (GAC) is an administrative agency within the government of the People’s Republic of China. The China’s custom has the authority to protect IP rights by confiscating infringing goods and imposing fines on infringers. For circumstances that the infringement of IP rights exceeds a certain threshold, the custom authorities may impose criminal proceedings against the infringing party.

In China, IP rights can be recorded with GAC in Beijing. Although it is not compulsory to record IP rights with GAC in order to apply criminal proceedings against the infringing party, however it would be considered as extra protection. If your IP rights are registered with custom, the customer would have the power to detain any suspected infringing consignment of goods and be more pro-active to detain counterfeit goods as the recordal provides custom officials with easy access to internal IP databases to determine whether goods passing through customs are genuine or counterfeit.

Once you registered your IP with GAC, your rights can be enforced through two channels:

1. If you know an infringing shipment is going to pass through one of the Chinese ports, you can notify custom officials to seize the goods.

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一個中國餐廳名稱如何自一般商標變為著名商標

中國內蒙古小肥羊餐廳股份有限公司(下稱:「小肥羊餐廳」)是一個餐廳服務業者。在1999年公司成立時名稱為包頭市小肥羊一般連鎖商店,在2000年11月1日,改名為包頭市小肥羊餐廳;直到2001年才使用現在的名稱。

2000年,周文清(音譯)與包頭小肥羊簽立加盟合約,2001年8月16日,周文清以穆斯林小肥羊旅館之名義與小肥羊餐聽簽屬加盟合約之補充條款,允許穆斯林小肥羊旅館持續經營已經設立於石家莊的兩間餐廳分店,但是不得開立新餐廳且不得運用小肥羊餐聽之圖像及文字行銷。

簽約3年後,周文清與其他人取得註冊設立河北匯特內蒙古小肥羊連鎖股份有限公司(下稱:「匯特」)。周文清是該新公司之法定代理人,並擁有百分之60之股份。匯特之後成立諸多連鎖餐廳並使用小肥羊為商店之文字、招牌以及廣告。由於周文清及匯特持續使用小肥羊文字,小肥羊餐廳以不公平競爭以及小肥羊商標侵權提起訴訟。

法院第一審裁判

在第一審訴訟時,法院認為小肥羊是小羊的一個通稱,用於餐廳時是在描述餐廳所提供之服務,因此,該名稱並不足以符合商標權之保護。在國內小肥羊名稱使用於許多餐廳,並且在中餐產業中是一個使用於快煮羊肉片之通用名稱。法院認定小肥羊餐聽無權禁止匯特及周文清使用小肥羊名稱。

首先申請小肥羊商標者為內蒙古金玉集團股份有限公司。該公司於2001年9月14日申請,2002年7月9日核駁,理由為該商標是敘述服務之特色。小肥羊餐廳首次於2001年申請小肥羊商標,但是商標局拒絕其申請,理由為小肥羊僅為一般性名稱。而小肥羊餐聽申請小肥羊之於第29類及42類分別於2002年10月7日及2003年1月7日獲准。

法院第二審裁判

在2004年12月12日,第二審審理過程中,商標局決定小肥羊此三個中文字為著名商標,並於2004年12月20日獲得註冊(No. 3043421)。

結論

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