New Balance – the major shoe brand – having big problems in China
The Chinese affiliate of US-based sports foot wear manufacturer New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. has been ordered by a Chinese court to pay a businessman $15.8 million (98 million yuan) for infringing his trademark, in the first instance. The trademark involved in this case is “新百伦” – a Chinese transliteration of “New Balance”.
It´s very rare that we see such high amounts in a trademark infringement case in China and is of course the reason why this case has attracted such attention.
The court said that the $15.8 million sum amounted to half of the profits the defendant made during the period the infringement took place. In addition to the record damages, the court also ordered the respondent to cease using the trademark and also to issue a clarification on its official website and online store. Most likely New balance is going to appeal.
According to Xu Xuan, an intellectual property professor at Guangzhou’s Jinan University, the trademark case is an example of ”reverse confusion,”
So what does this mean for you? It´s very important that you always apply for your trademark in China in Chinese characters as well as in you native language – a head of time!
Do you want to know more? Contact one of our project managers and they will guide throughout the process.