The world upside down - Blokker tent design infringement Zhengte tent

It is a common thought among entrepreneurs that IP rights have no value in China. Nowadays, this (mis-) conception is completely outdated. In 2015 Chinese companies filed more than a million patent applications (a third of the total amount of 3 million patent applications worldwide). Whereas American and Japanese companies filed half a million applications each. China is also the number one country regarding trademark registrations. In 2015 a vast number of 2.8 million trademark applications were filed in China. As a result, an increasing number of Chinese companies can be found in the court of law as the demanding party in trademark infringement cases.

In 2012 the Chinese company Zhengte launches a tent with a floating butterfly shaped roof. This unique shape is being protected through a European Union design registration. When the Dutch firm Blokker introduces a similar tent, named Le Sud, the Chinese bring the matter before the court. Claiming infringement of their registered EU design.
First the judge checks if the registered design fulfils the legal requirements (new and individual character), because there are more tents on the market with a butterfly shaped roof. All these versions are different, so the design is new. It has also an individual character, because of its elegant shape, resulting in a distinct overall impression. According to the judge, the registered EU design is valid and this is a major setback for Blokker. The Blokker party tent is nearly identical to the Chinese tent, giving the same overall impression to the customer. As a result, the tent may no longer be sold and Blokker has to compensate the legal costs of the other party.

 

design-law



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PURE - MENTOS

MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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