Dior (J’)adore la Victoire
Next in line to score a trademark victory in China is Christian Dior. The French fashion house has been fighting since 2015 for its 3D trademark protecting the droplet shaped J’adore fragrance bottle. The State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) determined that the bottle’s shape and design did not meet the standards of a trademark and rejected the application.
Dior appealed to the Chinese Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, arguing that since the 3D mark was already registered with WIPO and USPTO it should also qualify for protection in China. The board disagreed, stating that the bottle lacked distinctiveness and should be considered as a common container for liquors.
Li Fengxian, legal counsel for Dior, said that ”The perfume has grown popular among consumers after it came into Chinese market in 1999. Many consumers could easily recognise it as one of Dior’s perfumes through the bottle’s appearance. So it should be qualified to be a trademark to get protection in line with Chinese laws.”
On the World Intellectual Property day, China’s Supreme People’s Court ruled in favour of Dior in a suit against the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board. The court revoked the original rulings made by the lower trademark bodies and ordered the China Trademark Office to review Dior’s application again.
The verdict is significant and considered as an indicator that China is willing to align with international laws on intellectual property.
Instructed by President Donald Trump, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) launched an investigation on China’s intellectual property practices in August 2017. In a report issued this March, USTR accused China of unfair trading practices and threatened with billions of dollars in tariffs for imported Chinese goods.
Trump said that the investigation may be the start of a war on China’s intellectual property theft, but has it instead resulted in facilitating trademark disputes for foreign brands in China?
Do you want to know more about protecting intellectual properties in China? Maybe your company is already operating there or about to launch. Regardless what kind of help you require, Otmore’s experts have extensive experience dealing with intellectual property rights all over the world. Contact us and we are happy to tell you more about our services!