Facebook wins China trademark case
9 May 2016
- From the section Business
A Beijing court has ruled in favour of Facebook and against a Chinese company which had registered “face book” as a separate trademark.
The court said the firm had “violated moral principles” with “obvious intention to duplicate and copy from another high-profile trademark”.
The Zhongshan Pearl River company had registered the name in 2014.
Facebook is blocked in China but has recently gone on a charm offensive to access the Chinese market.
The court statement – released on April 28 but not widely covered in English – has led Chinese local media to speculate whether Beijing’s hard stance against Facebook might soften.
During a recent visit to China, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg met with China’s propaganda chief Liu Yunshan as well as fellow media guru Jack Ma.
In what critics described as a publicity stunt to win China’s favour, he also went for a run on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square despite heavy pollution.
Western companies are frequently struggling to have their trademarks upheld in China as they have to prove that their brand name is also well known within the country.
Only last week, Apple lost a trademark fight in China, meaning firms that sell handbags and other leather goods can continue to use the name “IPHONE”.
Xintong Tiandi trademarked “IPHONE” for leather products in China in 2010.
Apple filed a trademark bid for the name for electronic goods in 2002, but it was not approved until 2013.
Source: BBC Business