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September 27, 2011

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Cartier calls time on use of trademark

LUXURY watchmaker and jeweler Cartier has been compensated by domestic businesses after the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court ruled they infringed its trademark.

Cartier received 500,000 yuan (US$78,137) in compensation.

In 2009, Cartier staff found the company trademark on ceramic products manufactured by a Guangdong Province company and sold in Shanghai.

Its trademark was widely used in advertisements and brochures for the ceramic products, said Cartier.

Defendants Foshan Mingkun Ceramics Co, Kingsyoma Ceramic Co, and Zhang Yunshu, an individual seller, sought to give the impression of connections between their products and genuine Cartier goods, the court heard.

This was achieved through metaphors and comparisons used in advertisements.

But the defendants argued that they merely named one series of their products "Cartier," and this had nothing to do with goods by the world-famous brand.

Moreover, Cartier has not been listed as a famous trademark in China and therefore did not enjoy multi-industry protection, argued the defendants.

They also pointed out that they changed the name of their products after Cartier brought a lawsuit against them.

The court found the jewelry producer and the defendants used identical brand names.

It ruled the trademark Cartier should enjoy multi-industry protection due to its public profile, and that the defendants deliberately infringed its trademark.


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