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February 15, 2012

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Electrolux wins on trademark violation

SWEDISH appliance maker Aktiebolaget Electrolux won a trademark-infringement lawsuit against three Chinese companies and was compensated 121,000 yuan (US$19,209), the Huangpu District People's Court said yesterday.

Electrolux said the three domestic companies illegally produced and sold washing machines and refrigerators with a trademark of "ELEKES" that was quite similar to Electrolux's registered trademarks in China.

Some products were even printed with Swedish flags and logos such as "High Tech from Sweden," which seemed a deliberate effort to mislead shoppers, Electrolux said.

The plaintiff also ordered one of the three defendants, Qingdao ELEKES Electronic Appliance Co, to change its Chinese company name, which contained exactly the same Chinese characters as Electrolux's Chinese brand name.

"This has constituted illicit competition, which is against the Chinese law," said Electrolux.

Electrolux asked the three companies to stop infringing its trademarks and demanded a compensation of 500,000 yuan.

The court said the pronunciation of "ELEKES" was similar to the famous brand Electrolux, both of which had no actual meaning and could be mistaken by buyers.

Electrolux said it established Electrolux (China), a fully-owned subsidy company, in the Chinese mainland in 1995, and has earned a good reputation through its brand products and promotion activities since then.

The infringed trademarks were all registered in China.


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