Google Wins Trademark Registration Lawsuit in China
Google filed a registration with a figure trademark featuring a "play" button on downloadable software. After rejected by the Chinese Trademark Office(TMO) citing two prior trademarks, Google began its journey in seeking justice in Chinese authorities and courts.
After two years, Beijing High People's Court recently made a final judgment and rejected the appeal from the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) on Google's No.19127130 figure trademark, ordering the TRAB take a de novo look at the case.
The trademark in question was filed by Google on February 22, 2016, certified to be used on Class 9 products including downloadable music files, videos, PC software and electronic publications (downloadable).
After examination, TMO rejected the application as the trademark in question constituted similarity with No.8158685 (No.1 cited trademark) and No.330787 (No.2 cited trademark) figure trademarks when used on the same or similar products.
The disgruntled Google filed a reexamination appeal to TRAB, but was also rejected. Google then filed an lawsuit to Beijing IP Court but rejected by the Court.
Google then appealed to Beijing High People's Court, arguing that the No.1 cited trademark has been revoked and a coexistence agreement between Google and the right holder of No.2 cited trademark was under negotiation.
On May 27, 2018, TMO announced the revocation of the registration of No.1 cited trademark on all products. In parallel, according to the agreement signed by Google and right holder of No.2 cited trademark and presented to the Court during the second hearing, the right holder agreed Google to register the trademark in question in designated products.
The Court held that the trademark in question constituted similarity with No.1 and No.2 cited trademark when used on the same or similar products after hearing. As the N0.1 cited trademark has been revoked, and the right holder of No.2 cited trademark agreed Google to register the trademark in question, and more importantly, there are some certain differences between the trademark in question and No.2 cited trademark, and there is no evidence to show that coexistence of trademark in question and No.2 cited trademark would mislead the public about the origin of the products. The court's final judgment revoked the trial decision and the review decision made by TRAB, and ordered the judge to make a new decision.