From narrow to broad: significant change for ‘interested parties’

By Li Ruili and Hu Gang

A new Supreme People’s Court ruling offers a much broader interpretation of the term ‘interested party’ and could allow more parties related to trademark owners to bring cancellation actions.

The Supreme People’s Court has issued its judgment on a retrial concerning Trademark Registration 3060409, ‘采埃孚’ (ZF in Chinese), in ZF Lenksysteme GmbH v Trademark Review and Adjudication Board. The Supreme People’s Court finally ruled that the disputed mark infringed the prior rights of ZF GmbH and its Chinese-related companies in the trade name ‘采埃孚’, thus violating Article 31 of the Trademark Law. Further, it revoked the judgments of the courts of first and second instance and the decision of the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board.

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