Ferrero Rocher ruling expected soon


The much-anticipated Supreme People's Court ruling on the case between Montresor (Zhangjiagang) Food and Ferrero Rocher is expected in the coming weeks. The Supreme People's Court reportedly finished the hearing process in January and may issue its ruling in the near future.

Italian confectioner Ferrero Rocher filed a lawsuit against Montresor, a Chinese competitor, accusing it of copying the Ferrero Rocher gold-wrapped packaging and heart-shaped transparent box for its Tresor Dore chocolates. The Tianjin Second Intermediate Court initially ruled, in November 2004, that Montresor had not infringed Ferrero Rocher's rights because its Tresor Dore product had been well known in China for longer than the Ferrero Rocher product. However, Ferrero Rocher successfully appealed this decision to the Tianjin High Court, which found that the Tresor Dore chocolates were counterfeits and ordered Montresor to pay Rmb700,000 ($87,000) in compensation and cease selling the products in question.

Privately owned Ferrero Rocher has spent around $800,000 over the past several years defending its IP rights in China. It claims that a range of its products, including its Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs, are being copied in China.

Jin Ling, Rouse & Co International, Beijing

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