IP Guides Laws & Regulations Form Download News
  News
 
Source:cipnews  

On Dec. 5th, 2001, Zippo Manufacturing Company applied for  registration of No. 3031916 trademark to the Trademark Office under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China (SAIC). The trademark involved was a 3D image certified to be used on Class 34 cigarette lighters commodities. After preliminary examination announcement, a Wenzhou based company Hengxing smoking and optical utensil and Wenzhou Smoking Utensil association separately submitted objection requisition. Then the Trademark Office made a decision to reject the application for the trademark  application didn¡¯t conform to trademark law.

Both Hengxing and Zippo were not satisfied with the decision and requested a review to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) under SAIC. TRAB made a decision to reject the trademark application. Zippo then filed a lawsuit against TRAB to Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court.

Zippo claimed that, the involved trademark had a distinguishing feature to be indications of source on goods; the long time of using of the image making it famous among the consumers. The third part of the lawsuit, Hengxing, believed that the trademark involved was a common shape of a smoke lighter, which could not be a connection of a certain brand for consumers.

The court held that, the image of the trademark involved was not the only shape of the smoke lighters in the market; while the square box, upper cover, hinge and rounded angles were shapes ¡°existing for achieving technical effect of the goods or enabling the goods to keep substantive value¡± according to the trademark law; over 100 companies in the market selling this kind of smoke lighters. Thus, the Court held that the image of the involved trademark didn¡¯t conform to the trademark law and rejected Zippo¡¯s lawsuit.  (by Hu Biao)

Copyright 2009 Dearfriend Privacy / Disclaimer