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SIPO: "HOLLAND" Not Allowed in Trademark?

The British CNH Industrial N.V.(hereinafter referred to as CNH Industrial), which  registered  in Netherlands, started its recourse upon No.16448139 trademark "NEW HOLLAND AGRICULTURE and figure" in China. Recently, Beijing High People's Court made a final judgment to end the two-year dispute.

CNH Industrial applied to the Trademark Office (TMO) to register the trademark in March, 2015, which was intended to be used on Class 37 of the services of installation and repair of irrigation equipment. TMO rejected the application in February, 2016 on the ground that "HOLLAND" in the trademark can be translated to "荷兰", the name of a country, which was not allowed to be part of a trademark.

CNH Industrial then applied to TRAB for review in March, 2016, insisted that the exact trademark had been registered in the Netherlands and European Union for the same range of services. TRAB handed out its rejection in August, 2016 on the ground that European Union allowed the registration of the trademark, did not automatically establish consent from the Dutch government.

CNH Industrial then brought the case to Beijing IP Court. After review, Beijing IP Court rejected the application, holding that CNH Industrial was governed by Netherlands' legislation, while its main operation place was in UK, the trademark it applied to register, containing the word "HOLLAND", would mislead the correlation public about the origin of services.
CNH Industrial appealed to Beijing High People's Court, proposed that it was founded and operated according to the Dutch law, thus applying trademark registration which contained "HOLLAND", would not mislead the correlation public about the provenience of services. In addition, CNH Industrial submitted certified certification from Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, to prove that Netherlands government is not against CNH Industrial’s application of trademark registration based on services of Class 37 in China.

Beijing High People's Court nodded to CNH Industrial's appeal on the ground that the relevant certification could prove Netherlands government's agreement towards the application of the trademark registration in China, which contains "HOLLAND". Founded and operated according to the Dutch law, CNH Industrial applied trademark registration, which contains "HOLLAND", and would not mislead the association to the public about the origin of services. So, Beijing High People's Court withdrew both the decisions of the first stance and the TRAB and decreed TRAB to make a de novo decision.


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