A team from our Shanghai IP Agency and Hogan Lovells Fidelity has recently obtained a remarkable trademark decision for its client ZF and its affiliate ZF TRW Automotive Holdings (“ZF TRW”) before China’s highest court, the Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”).
The case revolved around ZF TRW’s opposition action against a trademark application for its brand “TRW,” filed by a trademark squatter. The China Trademark Office (CTMO) initially rejected the opposition claiming that the designated goods of the marks are unrelated and that “TRW” is not a well-known mark. The case was appealed to the SPC.
In its final judgement, the SPC held that “TRW” is a well-known mark for “braking system and safety system.” On the basis of the ample evidence submitted, the SPC concluded that ZF, with its trademark “TRW,” is one of the world’s largest automobile parts providers and that the “TRW” brand has enjoyed a high reputation and had become well-known to the relevant consumers in China even before 2004 when the opposed mark was filed. In addition, the SPC also held that the designated goods of the trademark in dispute, i.e. “engine belt; belts for motors and engines,” are related to the designated goods “auto parts” of “TRW.” Therefore, the SPC revoked the previous decisions, allowed the opposition, and remanded the case to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) for a new decision.
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Hogan Lovells Fidelity is our associated law firm established in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, through which our firm directly handles China litigation work. More information can be found here.