Wyeth Upends Local Squatter after Lengthy 16 Years of Entanglement

发布时间: 2018/7/11 15:46:00

  The trademark battle between the U.S.-based Wyeth LLC and a Guangzhou company named Wyeth-baby over No.1811793 trademark "Wyeth" (trademark in dispute) truly redefines lengthy lawsuit. Beijing High People's Court recently made the final judgment on this 16-year-long full-ride trademark dispute, upholding the decision on invalidating the trademark in dispute made by the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB).

  In May 2001, the trademark in dispute was filed by Wubo marketing department based in Dongfeng town of Zhongshan city in Guangdong province, with the person surnamed Lu as the contact person on the application form. In April 2002, it passed preliminary examination and was published while it was approved for registration in July the same year, certified to be used on Class 3 products, such as shampoos. As shown by sbj.saic.gov.cn, Lu filed over 30 trademarks on multiple classes including "DETTOL". In May 2011, the trademark was transferred to Wyeth-baby.        Wyeth LLC lodged an opposition application against the trademark in dispute in July 2002 but failed to obtain the support. In July 2011,  Wyeth LLC requested to revoke the trademark in dispute after its approval for registration. In September 2013, TRAB made a decision to revoke the trademark in dispute on the ground that the trademark was detrimental to socialist morals or customs, or having other unhealthy influences according to the Trademark Law of China. Then Wyeth-baby brought the case to Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court.

  In July 2014, Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court made a ruling, defining  Lu’s act as squatting a large number of trademarks with bad faith and violating the principle of good faith, not the moral issues as claimed by Wyeth LLC. Therefore, the court revoked the TRAB decision and ordered TRAB to make a de novo one. Both TRAB and Wyeth LLC appealed to Beijing High People's Court. In December 2014, Beijing High People's Court rejected the appeal and upheld the ruling of the first stance.

  In April 2015, TRAB made a new decision to invalidate the trademark in dispute, holding that Lu and Wyeth-baby’s acts fell into the circumstances of acquiring the registration through other improper means. The disgruntled Wyeth-baby took the lawsuit to Beijing IP Court.

  After hearing, Beijing IP Court held that the registration of the trademark in dispute was acquired by improper means. After the denied appeal, Wyeth-baby sought the last resort at Beijing High .

  Beijing High labeled that Lu's acts of trademarks hoarding, was listed in the Trademark Law of China as acquiring the registration through fraud and other improper means. Wyeth-baby used the trademarks on consumer products such as baby products after receiving the "Wyeth". The Guangzhou company was going out of its way to imitate products or business labels of Wyeth LLC and mislead customers in its marketing. These are apparent bad-faith acts that shall be discouraged. In this connection, Beijing High made the final judgment to reject the appeal of Wyeth-baby and sided with the first-stance decision.(by Wang Guohao)


  (Editor Cao Yahui)

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