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February 25, 2011

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Firm stole Ariston name

AN electric appliance company, using a name similar to the world-famous company Ariston, was ordered yesterday to change its name and pay 300,000 yuan (US$45,593) in compensation to the Italian producer of Ariston water heaters for infringing their trademark.

Italy-based M. & B. Marchi e Brevetti S.R.L. owns the trademarks of Ariston and its Chinese translation. The company authorized Ariston Thermo (China) Co Ltd to use the trademark on the Chinese mainland in 1995.

Staff from the two companies discovered that Foshan Ariston Electric Appliance -Manufacture Co Ltd in Guangdong Province, which was formed in 2002, used the Chinese translation of -Ariston as its name - a breach of trademark.

The Foshan company also used the Chinese trademark of Ariston in its advertising material and the English name of Arizhu, which was similar to Ariston, on its water heater products and packaging.

"The Foshan company not only took advantage of the good reputation built by Ariston though years of efforts, but also caused damage to its reputation due to quality problems with its products," the lawsuit said.

A Fujian Province news website reported in February 2009 that a water heater produced by the Foshan company killed a woman by electric shock, according to evidence which was provided by the plaintiff.

The Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled Foshan Ariston has infringed the trademark of Ariston by using it as the company's name on packaging and its website.


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