China’s trademark register works on a “first-to-file” basis. This allows trademark hijackers to quickly claim a foreign trademark, in the hope of selling it to the trademark owner later. Some hijackers go a step further and even seize products that are ready for shipping. An exception to this has been developed in case law. If products are only produced in China for export, then this cannot be a trademark infringement (the so-called OEM exception), as the Chinese consumer does not have any interaction with these products. In addition, the trademark holder must have a registration in the importing country. Recently a Chinese Court broke with this in its “HondaKit” ruling. »trademarks
Since 2006, the CROSSFIT trademark has been registered in the European Union for fitness training. This fitness program was conceived in America, using car tires and sandbags. The concept and name are licensed to many gyms. When VES (an organization of independent gyms) starts offering a similar training under the name THE CROSS BOX, CrossFit objects to this. »trademarks
BMW has been around for almost 100 years, making motorcycles (since 1923) and cars (since 1928). The company has registered its trademark rights worldwide. In India, these rights go back to 1956. When Balajee Automobile offers electrically powered rickshaws under the DMW brand in 2013, BMW objects to this. »trademarks
In the Benelux we do not know an exclusive right to our own name. If a company wants to claim a family name as its exclusive name, it will have to file a trademark registration. In the EU, it is sometimes possible to tackle name-hijacking, if it is clear that this name was registered as a trademark in bad faith. In some countries, like China, that protection goes a bit further and there is such a thing as a right to a "personal name". »trademarks
Adidas uses three parallel stripes as the distinguishing sign of its products. Characteristic is the number and the fact that the stripes are just as wide as the space between them. The design dates from 1949. To protect the goodwill of this brand, the company acts consistently against other sports brands that use stripes. The best known conflict is, we suspect, the series of lawsuits against Hennes and Mauritz that has been ongoing since 1997, over the use of the two stripes on fitness clothing. »trademarks
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?