Changes to well-known trademark recognition announced


Because a large number of enterprises use litigation as an approach to obtain well-known trademark recognition, the Supreme People's Court has made a statement to clarify the issue at the Trademarks Festival, which was held in Changsha, Hunan Province, on November 3 2007.

Based on statistical evidence, more than 200 well-known trademarks have been recognized by the relevant courts in China since 2001. Judge Xia Jun Li, a member of the Intellectual Property Court of the Supreme People's Court, stated that various courts have reached a consensus that the content of discussions relating to well-known trademark recognition will not be included in the main text of court judgments. The Supreme People's Court also made such a decision.

Consequently, trademark owners should not go directly to the courts simply to have their marks recognized as well-known. This reinforces the attitude of the Supreme People's Court towards well-known trademark recognition - that is, recognition of well-known trademark status should not be the sole purpose of litigation.

According to the court, the judicial interpretation of the protection of well-known trademarks and recognition of this status will require certain evidence beyond what was required in the past. For example, the party claiming well-known status must provide evidence of its business status, industry ranking and taxation status. Such documentation must have been issued by the relevant authorities.

Jin Ling, Rouse & Co International, Shanghai

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