Beijing No.1 Intermediate Court recently ruled in favor of Procter &Gamble (P&G) in a trademark dispute. The first instance made by the court reversed the decision by the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and approved registration of the trademark of "安宝适AnbaoShi" and its figure.
Pampers is a famous baby products brand owned by P&G. In April 1999, P&G filed Pampers to Trademark Office (TMO) under SAIC as a trademark and then acquired the registration of in July 2000, certified for use on Class 16, goods of disposable nappies.
In August 2003, a Shanghai maternity & child articles company namely Shanghai Xinran filed "安宝适AnbaoShi" and its figure as a trademark to be used on Class 16, products of disposable diapers. The trademark was then challenged by P&G, and would be upheld by TMO.
The disgruntled P&G sought reversal at TRAB on the ground that Pampers has been registered as a trademark earlier than AnbaoShi, the trademark in question and enjoyed high reputations and popularity among the consumers and the public. It should be recognized as a well-known trademark. P&G claimed that the two marks were similar in composition and both were certified on the same class of products, as a result, similarity was constituted. However, P&G's claim was not accepted by TMO and AnbaoShi was approved to be registered.
P&G then brought the case to the court. The court held that the P&G trademark was constituted with three Chinese characters in帮宝适, which has no special meaning, but enjoys high popularity among the public and the consumers. The trademark in question was constituted with the another there Chinese characters in安宝适, AnbaoShi and the background figure, highlighting 安宝适 in its trademark. It is similar in typeface and composition of 帮宝适 and安宝适, both were certified on same class of products. It might cause confusion among the consumers, and similarity was constituted.
The court then reversed TRAB's decision and cancelled registration of 安宝适.
(China IP News)