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December 20, 2016

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Firms fined for cashing in on BMW logo

TWO companies, and the founder of one of them, have been ordered to pay automaker BMW a total of 3 million yuan (US$432,000) for registering trademarks similar to the German company’s, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court said yesterday.

Zhou Leqin, one of the accused, established Deguo Baoma Group (Int’l) Holdings Limited — which translates as German BMW Group (Int’l) Holdings Limited — in China in July, 2008, and together with this company purchased and registered the trademark “BMN,” with a logo distinctly similar to the German BMW’s, the court said.

The trademark was then authorized for use by a local fashion company called Chuangjia — the other company fined by the court — and has been used on products including clothes, shoes and bags. Chuangjia further modified the trademark over the years to become even more similar to the authentic BMW logo.

The products have been sold widely since 2009 with Deguo Baoma promoted through franchisees with the BMN trademark. The court said the accused infringed BMW’s trademarks registered in China by taking advantage of its reputation.


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