Maliciously Trademark Infringement After The End of The Management Contract, IHG Won The First Instance
Recently, Six Continents Hotel Group, owned by the famous hotel management group Intercontinental Hotels Group sued Dujiangyan Yunchang Hotel Management Co., Ltd. for infringement of trademark rights. The case was concluded in the Chengdu Intermediate People's Court of the first instance. Six Continents Hotel Group won the first trial and was compensated for the economic loss of 1.2 million yuan (including reasonable expenses). In this case, the popularity and significance of the trademark involved, the nature of the behavior after the authorization is terminated, the applicability of the suspension of the trial, the remedy to eliminate the adverse effects, the confirmation of the subject of infringement and the high amount of compensation awarded in the first instance are worthy of attention.
IHG's Six Continents Hotel Group, INC., is a company established according to American laws. Its headquarters is located at no. 3, Ravenia Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Six continents hotels group (in the name of the company and company structure state), founded in 1777, is one of the world's largest professional hotel management group. The business distributes in nearly 100 countries, owns "CROWNE PLAZA" and "CROWNE PLAZA", "crown", "HOLIDAY INN" and "HOLIDAY INN", and other well-known international hotel brands.
With more than 60 years of international hotel management experience, Six Continents Hotel Group operates hotels in 25 Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, including Sichuan Province, where the defendant is located. The Dujiangyan Central Holiday Inn operated by the defendant, formerly known as The Dujiangyan Central Holiday Inn, authorized by The Six Continents Hotel Group.
On June 12, 2018, Six Continents Hotel Group sent a letter to the former operator of the hotel, Dujiangyan Linglan Hotel Management Co., Ltd., stating that the contract would be terminated on July 12, 2018. Six Continents Hotel Group request the other party to stop using all trademarks or logos to which they are entitled.
Subsequently, the hotel was renamed as Dujiangyan Central Holiday Inn, and the management company was changed to Dujiangyan Yunchang Hotel Management Co., Ltd.
On October 12, 2018, Six Continents Hotel Group sent a lawyer's letter to the defendant, requesting the defendant to stop the infringement, but the defendant refused to cooperate for various reasons. Regarding the Six Continents Hotel Group’s commerce complaint, the Industrial and Commercial Bureau identified that it does not constitute the same trademark, will not cause consumer confusion, hence does not infringe.
On March 7, 2019, The Six Continents Hotel Group filed a trademark infringement lawsuit to the Intellectual Property Court of Chengdu Intermediate People's Court, claiming three million yuan for compensation and simultaneously applying for property preservation of three million yuan.