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BVLGARI Gains Cross-class Protection in Trademark Dispute

BVLGARI, an Italy- based company famous for its designer jewelry, is the right holder of No. 332078, No. 334038 and No.340247 trademark BVLGARI and No. 3811212 trademark BVLGARI宝 格 丽, which would be approved to be used on Class 14 goods such as jewelry. Bulgari Commercial Shanghai Company is an wholly- owned subsidiary established by BVLGARI in 2006 in China.

In 2014,BVLGARI found that some relevant symbols including 宝 格 丽 were used prominently in real estate business activities by Hunan Taskin Investment Company and Shenzhen Taskin Property Consulting Company. Shenzhen Taskin Industrial Company registered a trademark 宝格丽, certified to be used on Class 36 services such as entrusted management service, and authorized the above two companies to use. Consequently, BVLGARI and Bulgari Shanghai Company filed the case to Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court on the grounds that the three companies infringed its trademark right and trade name right.

The three defendants argued that the Taskin Investment Company was the owner of No. 9008821, No.9013166 and No. 9013375 trademark 宝 格 丽 and they did not infringe the trademark right of the plaintiff.

Shenzhen Intermediate Court held that, the act of Taskin Investment Company and Taskin Property Consulting Company constituted trademark infringement and unfair competition. In the connection, the Court made its first- instance judgment on the case, ordering the three defendants to cease infringement, publish a statement and indemnify one million yuan in damages and reasonable costs.

Both BVLGARI and Taskin Investment Company brought the case to Guangdong High People's Court. BVLGARI requested to change the original judgment on the amount of compensation to 20.4 million yuan.

Guangdong High held that the trademark 宝格丽 and other relevant trademarks certified to be used on Class 14 goods had been wellknown after an extended period of use. The same or the similar trademarks the three defendants had used would confuse the relevant public, infringing BVLGARI's trademark right and constituting unfair competition. Therefore, the court rendered its final judgment, ordering the three defendants to cease infringement, publish a statement to apologize and indemnify BVLGARI and Bulgari Shanghai Company 3.1 million yuan in damages and reasonable costs

Source: China Intellectual Property News, CNIPA

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