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April 26, 2012

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Trademark case heard on appeal

NIPPON Paint China Co took a trade company to trial in an upper court yesterday, appealing a ruling in a trademark-infringement case.

Nippon accuses the trading firm of unauthorized use of its trademark on, which is listed as codefendant for failing to detect and supervise the alleged infringement.

In Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court yesterday, Nippon demanded compensation of 200,000 yuan (US$31,714) and a public apology.

"Trade name is viewed as a company's invisible assert," said Nippon, "not just a name separating different products."

Nippon first found the defendant, Shanghai Zhanjin Trade Co Ltd, a paint products dealer, using its trademark and logo on Zhanjin's online store on in March last year.

Zhanjin said the company legally purchased the Nippon products from distributors and used Nippon's trademark to inform customers that the online store sold the paint products. Taobao claimed that Zhanjin provided legal papers when opening the store on the e-commerce platform.

In court yesterday, Nippon displayed a stored image of Zhanjin's online store, which showed that part of Nippon's page was copied onto the store site along with a claim that this was "the flagship store" of Nippon.

In its verdict last year, the district court ruled that Zhanjin's use of Nippon's trademark was reasonable.


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