Unitalen obtains Recognition of Well-known mark for “SISLEY 希思黎” Through Litigation

December 28, 2017

"Sisley 希思黎", established in 1976, is a world-renowned French brand for facial and body skin care products. On November 12, 2010, a natural person Linren Chen (hereinafter referred to as “Chen”) applied for registration of trademark "Sisley希思黎" in Class 44 for beauty salon services, etc.. C.F.E.B. Sisley Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Sisley”) filed opposition to Chen’s application based on its prior registered marks “希思黎Sisley”, “希思黎”, Sisley & designin Class 3, and Trademark Office decided Chen’s trademark shall not be approved for registration. Chen applied for review with Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB), who ruled to approve the registration of Chen’s mark, holding that Class 44 services and Class 3 goods shall be considered dissimilar, which is not likely to cause confusion and misidentification; the cited marks, although enjoying considerable reputation, shall not be recognized as well-known marks due to insufficient evidence. The TRAB decision was further affirmed by Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court.


In representation of Sisley’s appeal to Beijing Higher People’s Court, Unitalen Attorneys at Law helped strengthen evidences of promotion and sales of“希思黎Sisleyproducts in China and, at the same time, evidences showing Chen’s squatting and storing numbers of other parties’ well-known trademarks. Beijing Higher People’s Court finally decided that Sisley’s marks shall be considered as well-known in respect of cosmetics in Class 3, and that Chen’s application for “希思黎Sisley” on Class 44 services aims at taking advantage of Sisley’s reputation and misleading the publics. The appeal judgement revoked the TRAB decision and the first instance judgement. This, as known, is the very first judicial case in which “Sisley 希思黎” is recognized as a well-known mark.


This judgement of Beijing Higher People’s Court shows lowered requirements for recognition of well-known mark after implementation of the new Trademark Law. When there is necessity of protection, less rigid standards of evidences are adopted in evaluating the degree of reputation. In addition, where the trademark owner is able to prove the obvious intention of bad-faith squatting of the other party, the requirement for evidence of reputation will be loosened to strengthen curbing of bad-faith registration.