Unitalen wins the first instance of trademark administrative litigation case for Guangzhou Battery Factory

December 11, 2008
The trademark administrative case, Guangzhou Battery Factory Vs. SAIC TRAB represented by Qiangkai Gui, the attorney of Unitalen, was concluded by Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. The court upheld the plaintiff’s claims and overruled the Notification of Refusal made by the defendant.

If no appeal petition is filed or the appellant court upholds the initial trial judgment, this precedent will give a reference on resolving of a controversial issue, namely whether it is reasonable that TRAB may reject an application for trademark dispute on the grounds that the applicant is no longer the right owner of the cited mark when the mark is assigned and the assignee does not take the initiative in applying for participating in the ongoing dispute proceedings. The judgment of this case will lend a preliminary solution on the above problem. It is confirmed by the court that it lacks legal grounds that the TRAB ended the proceeding of review procedure by making a refusal notification under the condition that the TRAB did not receive any confirmation from the assignee that it would not participate the outstanding procedures.

This decision will put the TRAB under obligation of informing the assignee of the cited mark to participate in the ongoing procedures in similar cases. This is the first and typical case with great significance that an administrative authority shall render sufficient procedural remedy to the private party in course of making any administrative decisions. The definition and regulations on the applicant’s procedural rights in a review case stipulated in Trademark Review and Adjudication Rules is vague without any reference on how could the parties that have close relationship with the disputed trademark participate in the review procedures. The court held that it would be more favorable for protecting the private party’s rights if the TRAB takes the responsibility of informing the parties that has close relationship with the ongoing review case.