Unitalen client JBC, originating from Spain, is an internationally renowned brand of welding tools, with a history dating back to 1929. JBC Company has registered the No. 8606223 "JBC" trademark in China, and the approved designated products are Class 9 electric soldering guns, electric welding equipment, electric soldering irons, etc. The trademark involved in the case has accumulated a high publicity and reputation among the relevant public in China.
The defendant Shenzhen Nuohao Technology Co., Ltd. was established in 2012, and its main business scope overlapped with JBC. The defendant claimed on its official website that JBC was a "partner client" and sold the so-called “domestic JBC soldering tips” products, which are produced by itself, through e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba www.1688.com website and made profits from it.
After the trial, the court of first instance ruled that the defendant had infringed on JBC trademark and constituted unfair competition through false propaganda. The dependent is ordered to compensate the plaintiff’s rights protection costs of 100,000 yuan and the economic loss of 350,000 yuan, including 300,000 yuan for the economic losses from trademark infringement and 50,000 yuan for the economic losses from false propaganda.
The difficulty in this case is that the defendant sold the counterfeit JBC products produced by itself and the genuine JBC products together; and pretended to be a JBC distributor in business activities. It’s very likely for the defendant to use the provisions in Paragraph 2 Article 64 of the Trademark Law concerning “legitimate source” to avoid the liability for compensation. Therefore, how to effectively negate the defendant’s lawful source defense and restore the truth has become the focus of the case. Unitalen litigation team obtained sufficient rebuttal evidence in advance and successfully denied the defendant’s claim of a legitimate source at the court, which led to winning the case.