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March 26, 2012

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Heat's on as US appliance firm brings name suit

THREE Chinese companies could be in hot water as American heater manufacture A.O. Smith takes them to court today over alleged trademark infringement.

Established in 1874, A.O. Smith said it is the largest water heater producer in North America and has registered a series of Chinese and English "A.O. Smith" trademarks of in China.

The defendants accused of using similar Chinese and English names on their products are Shanghai Yajiasi Electronic Appliance Co, Guangzhou AO.Simihe Electronic Appliance Co and Zhongshan Aboluo Electronic and Gas Appliance Co.

A.O. Smith claims the use of the name "AO.Simihe" on kitchen and bathroom products and promotional materials is trademark infringement and could mislead customers.

The plaintiff also said Guangzhou AO.Simihe Electronic Appliance Co made up its company history to mislead buyers and that Zhongshan Aboluo had applied for Chinese trademarks related to A.O.Smith.

The US firm wants the companies to stop the alleged infringement and 120,000 yuan (US$19,045) compensation. The case will be heard at Pudong New Area People's Court.


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