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Niubanlun pays New Balance for unfair competition

A Chinese sportswear company was ordered to pay 480,000 yuan (US$76,200) in damages to the US-based footwear manufacturer New Balance for unfair competition.

The Huangpu District People's Court also ordered Niubanlun Sportswear Company in Quanzhou, Fujian Province to stop producing sports shoes with a logo similar to New Balance's "N" design.

New Balance filed the lawsuit last November against Niubanlun for using a logo similar to its unique "N" design and had a Chinese brand name that sounds similar to "New Balance."

The US firm said it registered its trademark in China in 1983 and accused Niubanlun of making and selling counterfeit shoes since 2007.

Niubanlun argued that this was not an infringement case because its "N" trademark was legally registered. But New Balance said Niubanlun's trademark should not be used on sports shoes.

The court ruled the Chinese company to pay for unfair competition, saying New Balance is a famous brand although it did not register its "N" design as a trademark.

As for the Chinese company's disputed brand name, the court rejected New Balance's appeal because that name was not registered by New Balance.


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