Brief of the Case:
Trademark No. 753230 " ", Trademark No. 639160 " ", and Trademark No. 1239101 " " are all registered trademarks of Meelunie B.V. on Potato flour for food, Maize flour, etc., and the periods of exclusive right to use are until June 27, 2025, April 27, 2023, and January 13, 2029, respectively.
On June 10, 2019, the Municipal Market Supervision Administration of Ma'anshan, Anhui Province, inspected Ma'anshan Shangjia Food Co., Ltd. upon complaints. After investigation, Shangjia had been involved in the production of " " brand cornstarch since September 2018, and the trademark used for the above product was similar to the registered trademarks of Meelunie B.V.
On August 7, 2019, the case-handling authority determined that Shangjia used a trademark similar to the registered trademarks of Meelunie B.V. on the same goods, which could easily lead to confusion, and constituted the act of infringement under Article 57(2) of the Trademark Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Trademark Law). According to Article 60.2 of the Trademark Law, Shangjia was ordered to immediately cease the infringement act, and the administrative penalty of confiscation of infringing goods and unused packaging mainly used to manufacture the infringing goods, and a fine of 1.504 million yuan were imposed.
Shangjia refused to accept the decision of administrative penalty and filed administrative review and administrative litigation successively. The Municipal People's Government of Ma'anshan and the People's Court of Yushan District, Ma'anshan, both upheld the decision of administrative penalty. On October 28, 2020, the Intermediate People's Court of Ma'anshan made the final judgment to reject the appeal and uphold the original judgment. On December 30, 2020, the High People's Court of Anhui Province rejected the request for retrial of Shangjia.
The goods involved in this case were foods. The investigation and handling of the case effectively prevented the infringing foods into the market and safeguarded the "safety of every bite of foods" for the people. The case-handling authority's determination is accurate, and the idea of determining the similar trademark is of reference significance for this type of case. The case went through administrative review and administrative litigation, and the decision of administrative penalty was finally upheld by the judiciary authorities. This is of positive significance for creating a favorable business environment and enhancing the investment confidence of foreign-owned enterprise in China. (WU Dongping, Secretary General of the China Trademark Association)