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April 27, 2010

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Swarovski wants name back

SWAROVSKI Crystal, a famous cut-crystal producer from Austria, accused a local man and his company of registering four domain names that include the word "swarovski" without permission and selling counterfeits on Websites.

Swarovski is seeking 400,000 yuan (US$58,565) in compensation and a public apology from Wang Chengyun and his company, Shanghai Wangxing Info-tech Co Ltd, the court heard.

It also wants the defendants to transfer the four domain names to it free of charge.

Huangpu District People's Court heard the case in Tongji University yesterday to mark World Intellectual Property Day. No verdict was handed down after the hearing.

Swarovski said it had registered the English and Chinese trademarks and the logo of a swan in the Chinese mainland. The trademarks enjoy a high reputation and were judged to be famous trademarks by a Beijing court.

The two defendants registered four domain names with "swarovski" in June 2008, including swarovskishop, swarovski8 and chinaswarovski, the plaintiff said.

The plaintiff said the similarity of the domain names would mislead consumers into thinking them connected to the official Swarovski Website.

Swarovski also accused the defendants of selling counterfeits with its trademark and swan logo. It said the counterfeits were roughly made and different from genuine crystal products in terms of design.

The defendants argued they meant no harm in registering the domain names, just to sell real Swarovski products on the Websites.

"The Websites didn't sell any other products but Swarovski products," said Shang Jiangang, lawyer for the defendants.

The defendants said all the crystal products on their Websites came from an online seller on, one of China's biggest e-commerce Websites. They thought they were all genuine because the online seller offered imported packages.


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