Toyota fails to stop registration of TOYOTAT


The Trademark Review and Adjudication Board of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce has rejected an opposition brought by Toyota Motor Corporation (Objection 1268099) to the application filed by Mr Liu to register the trademark TOYOTAT for goods in Class 18 of the Nice Classification.

Toyota objected to the application on the grounds that the mark was similar to its trademark TOYOTA (Registration 135093), which covers motor vehicles. Toyota argued that:

  • the mark TOYOTA was entitled to extended protection as a well-known trademark; and

  • use of the TOYOTAT mark was likely to lead to confusion among consumers.

In his defence, Liu argued that the board had already ruled in 1998 that the TOYOTAT design was different from that of Toyota. He also argued that because the marks TOYOTAT and TOYOTA are used in relation to different products (ie, leather products and motor vehicles), there was no likelihood of confusion.

The board held that Toyota had not produced sufficient evidence that the reputation of its trademark had extended to Class 18 goods. The functions, marketing channels and target consumers of the two trademarks were sufficiently different. Therefore, the board rejected Toyota's objection and allowed the registration of the mark TOYOTAT.

Jin Ling, Rouse & Co International, Beijing

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content