Infringing use of Anheuser-Busch's marks barred by Shanghai court


The Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court has issued a judgment in a trademark dispute between US company Anheuser-Busch Inc and Chinese brewer Putian Jinchi Beer Co Ltd (August 21 2007).

Since 1997 US brewer Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser Wuhan International Brewing Ltd (Budweiser Wuhan) have registered around 30 beer-related trademarks. These include the word mark BAIWEI (the transliterated Chinese character mark for the name Budweiser) and a device mark comprising a ribbon and an ear of wheat.

In 2006 Anheuser-Busch discovered that Jinchi Beer was using a mark on its beer which closely resembled the above marks. The packaging of Jinchi Beer's products also included the words 'American Budweiser Beer International Group Co Ltd'. On this basis, Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser Wuhan brought trademark infringement proceedings against Jinchi Beer.

The court held that Jinchi Beer had infringed Anheuser-Busch's trademark rights and ordered it to pay Rmb500,000 ($66,667) in compensatory damages and Rmb100,000 ($13,333) in punitive damages. The court also ordered four distributors to stop selling the infringing beer immediately.

Jin Ling, Rouse & Co International, Beijing

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