In recent days, NTD represented a well-known Germany company BASF (Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik) to win a dispute over trademark infringement and unfair competition. Zhongshan Intermediate People’s Court, the court of second instance, affirmed the original judgment, demanding the defendant, a materials company in Zhongshan city of Guangdong province, to cease the infringement and compensate 3 million RMB for economic loss and 150,000 RMB for reasonable expenditures.
A materials company in Zhongshan registered a company in Hong Kong BASF, and empowered its affiliated companies in China to use the name to evade the examinations for business registrations. With the knowledge of the forcible change of name, the materials company still did a lot of propaganda in the name of BASF,seriously misleading the consumers. Besides, the materials company used the similar domain name with the trademark registered by the Germany BASF, causing confusion and damaging the registered trademark right of BASF.
FU Fengxi,CHEN Jiali and HUANG Weilan, attorneys from NTD, represented the Germany BASF to fully investigate and collect evidences. They requested the infringer to pay a compensation of 3 million RMB and reasonable expenditures calculated in a comprehensive consideration of the sales and the profit margin defined in the administrative penalty due to misleading propaganda. The two lawyers also took such necessary measures as timely preserving evidences, filing a suit to the court, and providing evidences to the court. Accordingly, the court of first instance made a judgment, ordering the defendant to cease infringement, eliminate effects and compensate to BASF 3 million RMB for economic loss and 150,000 RMB for reasonable expenditures. The defendant was dissatisfied with the judgement and appealed. During the second instance, the legal team from NTD further supplemented new evidences to make a convincing cross-examination against the evidences of the infringer, which further demonstrated the defendant’s infringing act. Finally, the court of second instance sustained the decision of first instance on the basis of the facts and the regulations of laws.
After the trail, Ms. Fu commented, this case was a typical dispute over trademark infringement and unfair competition, and the courts in China held a zero-tolerance policy towards the malicious registrations, protecting the legal interests of right owners by requesting the infringer to cease infringement and eliminate effects through publishing in newpapers. She added, China continues to increase the punishment to the intellectual property infringements. The infringement profits are calculated based on the annual production capacity of the propaganda. Meanwhile, for the infringers, the cost of breach of law is significantly increased according to the subjective malice and the compensation shall be appropriate to the market value of the intellectual property.