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April 14, 2011

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A&A Wuxi wins croc logo case

A&A Wuxi Import Export Corp won a battle over 3,500 pairs of jeans.

Pudong New Area People's Court yesterday ruled the jeans, which featured a Singapore-registered company's crocodile logo, did not infringe a similar trademark owned by Hong Kong Crocodile Garments Co Ltd.

Judges said the jeans, ordered by a South Korean company and produced for export only, wouldn't cause confusion among domestic consumers because they were not intended for sale on the Chinese mainland.

A&A Wuxi received an order from a South Korean firm in December 2009 for 3,500 women's jeans with the crocodile logo owned by Singapore-based Crocodile International Pte Ltd.

The jeans were to be exported to South Korea.

However, Shanghai Customs officers confiscated the jeans on January 29, 2010, as they suspected a violation of Hong Kong Crocodile's trademark.

A&A Wuxi company sued in March 2010, asking the court to rule it didn't infringe any trademark.

The plaintiff said Singapore-based International Crocodile's trademark was registered in South Korea and the South Korean order had been authorized. Thus, the jeans couldn't cause any domestic market confusion since they were to be sold in South Korea.

Hong Kong Crocodile insisted it was the only legal owner of the crocodile trademark in China. Even if the Singapore company's trademark was legal in South Korea, it shouldn't be used in China.

The court ruled consumers on the mainland wouldn't be misled since the jeans were to be sold in South Korea. Thus, A&A Wuxi didn't violate Hong Kong Crocodile's trademark.

Singapore-based Crocodile International, Hong Kong Crocodile and France-based La Chemise Lacoste have been in a long-running feud because each company uses the image of a crocodile as their trademark.


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