Rehau Polymers Prevails in a Trademark Dispute

The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court recently entered the final decision for a trademark dispute raised by Rehau China, ordering the defendant Shanghai Ruihao Pipeline Co., Ltd. to indemnify 380,000 yuan in damages.  Rehau China ended this four-year legal battle on a triumphant note.

Established in August 2002, Rehau China is a leading system and service provider for polymer-based solutions and its main products cover polyethylene floor heating pipes. The company made itself known as REHAU, Rehau floor heating systems and German Rehau floor heating systems. Founded in March 2007, Shanghai Ruihao is a local company with its business covering pipelines, pipe fittings, electric wires, water cycle equipments, hardware appliances etc.

In 2008, Rehau discovered that Shanghai Ruihao spread a great deal of advertisements on their website, which highlighted RUIHAO (same pronunciation as the Rehau in Chinese) and the figures similar to their registered trademarks. On July 29 the same year, Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce Jiading Office seized a batch of plastic pipeline and cardboard for packaging printed with trademark of RUIHAO. At the end of 2008, the Jiading Office imposed a fine of 20,000 yuan on Shanghai Ruihao on the ground of false advertising and ordered an injunction-like measure.

Rehau Company then brought the case to the Shanghai Minhang District People's Court and sought injunction.  

The court entered into the first-instance judgment on this trademark dispute, ordering the defendant to cease infringement and indemnify 380,000 yuan in damages.

Disgruntled Shanghai Ruihao then appealed to the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.

The court held that the case is a trademark usage dispute. Despite Shanghai Ruihao registered the RUIHAO and its figure on Class 11 commodities, but not in the class concerning floor heating pipeline which Rehau has registered its trademark in.  As a result their claim that they haven't used the disputed trademark on the floor heating pipeline was rejected by the court. During the trial, the court held that the trademark of RUIHAO and its figures in orders could lead confusion and misunderstanding among the public and the defendant highlighted the word "瑞好" in their advertisements.

Based on the affirmation above, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court affirm the original judgment.

(China IP News)