Chinese brand confident of winning trademark dispute appeal in Germany
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-30 15:30:25   Print

    BEIJING, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The final verdict in a lawsuit by hundreds-year-old Chinese beancurd brand Wangzhihe against a German supermarket is due April 23, a lawyer said Monday.

    According to Wolfgang Festl-Wietek, a lawyer for Wangzhihe, the dispute centers on whether OKAI, the supermarket that registered Wangzhihe's logo in Germany, is a competitor to the Chinese company, and whether Wangzhihe had marketing and sales activities in Germany.

    The lawyer said he had confidence in winning the lawsuit.

    Beijing-based Wangzhihe, established in 1678 and specializing in Beijing-style pungent beancurd, noticed in July 2006 that its brand had been registered by OKAI on Nov. 21, 2005. As it wanted to expand into the German market, it filed a lawsuit against OKAI in a court in Munich in January 2007.

    Germany's OKAI company lost the lawsuit in November last year. The local court ruled the OKAI company should stop using the Wangzhihe trademark logo in Germany and the brand OKAI had registered there should be revoked.

    OKAI appealed on Feb. 25, 2008, and the lawsuit was heard in Munich on Jan. 22.

    According to Wolfgang Festl-Wietek, trademark infringement is common in foreign countries. His legal consulting firm had handled three similar lawsuits by Chinese companies.

    Chinese enterprises should learn to protect their own brands and patents, he said, adding that timely registration was easier than going to court.

    The lawsuit didn't bring negative impact to Wangzhihe, said Wang Jiahuai, its general manager.

    "The production and sales both maintained double-digit growth in the last two years," he said.

    The Wangzhihe brand has been registered in more than 40 countries and regions worldwide.

    "This time we just want OKAI to understand the importance of respecting others' intellectual property right, and stop infringing their brands," he said.

Editor: Fang Yang
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