Xiaomi was founded in 2010 and launched its cellphone operating system "MIUI", which allows cell phone enthusiasts to participate in the development and provide feedback on cell phone systems, attracting a lot of phone users’ attention. The unique cell phone internet marketing model has prompted it to accumulate high visibility and influence for a short period of time.
Zhongshan Benteng Company and Zhongshan Mijia Company are the manufacturer and distributor in the home appliance industry. These two companies imitate Xiaomi's trademark, font, domain name, slogan, brand color, etc. in their marketing promotion activities.
In 2018, Xiaomi entrusted Unitalen Attorneys at Law to sue Zhongshan Benteng and Zhongshan Mijia for trademark rights infringement and unfair competition dispute before the Nanjing Intermediate People's Court in Jiangsu Province and won the first instance.
And then at the end of 2019, Xiaomi won the full victory after the Jiangsu Higher People’s announced the verdict of second instance.
The Court’s Ruling
The Jiangsu Higher People's Court upheld the verdicts of the first instance, which found that:
1.Before Zhongshan Benteng applied for the trademark of "小米生活(Xiaomi Life)" on November 23, 2011, the registered trademark of "小米(Xiaomi)" of Xiaomi Company had been at the level of well-known status in Class 9 for "cell phone" products;
2.Zhongshan Benteng and other companies had stressed the use of their registered trademark "小米生活" in their business premises, websites, and alleged infringing products, which improperly manipulated the market reputation of Xiaomi's well-known trademark "小米", misleading the public and constituting trademark infringement;
3.Zhongshan Benteng and other companies in the business operations involved had imitated Xiaomi’s trademark, slogan, color combination, fan nicknames and other aspects, deliberately manufacturing the fuzzy connection with Xiaomi and its products, misleading consumers, improperly looting Xiaomi's business reputation, which violates the principle of good faith and constitutes unfair competition;
4.The verdict of the first instance ordering Zhongshan Benteng and other companies to compensate Xiaomi for economic losses of 50 million yuan is derived from sufficient facts and legal basis.
This case is a typical case in which punitive damage is applied, and it is also with the highest indemnity amount in all effective verdicts concerning domestic trademark infringement in the past three years!