Administrative Dispute over the Invalidation of the Trademark of "安壳Anker"
Heard by: Beijing Intellectual Property Court, Beijing High People's Court
Outcome of Trial: Revoke CNIPA's decisions on invalidation
Anker Innovation Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Anker Innovation") has a very high reputation in consumer electronics products. Anker Innovation had applied for registration of "Anker" in the class 9, which includes batteries and other products, on October 21, 2011. In this case, the trademark No. 14613657 "安壳Anker " was applied by a natural person named Ouyang Yali on June 18, 2014, and was later transferred to Xiamen Superman Technology Co., Ltd. Then they jointly applied several trademarks which included or were similar to "Anker". In 2018, Xiamen Superman Company made malicious complaints on the products sold by Anker Innovation through online and offline methods with the disputed trademarks and continued to make trouble in Anker Innovation's normal operation.
Anker Innovation filed an application for invalidation of the disputed trademark. The CNIPA held that the disputed trademark and the trademark cited did not constitute similar trademarks on the same or similar goods; the disputed trademark was acquired by assignment, and the sales contract, invoices, product photos, and other materials submitted by the respondent could reflect a certain extent of its intention and behavior of using the disputed trademark. The disputed trademark should be maintained. Therefore, Anker Innovation entrusted Sanyou to file an administrative litigation.
Sanyou's attorneys additionally submitted evidence of malicious preemptive trademark registration by the applicant of the disputed trademark, the application file of the disputed trademark obtained from the CNIPA, and the files of the individual business used in the application of the disputed trademark, to prove that the disputed trademark was registered by forging the individual business license, and request the court to revoke the ruling over the accused. Beijing Intellectual Property Court held that Ouyang Yali, the original registrant of the disputed trademark, submitted a false individual business license when applying for the disputed trademark, which constituted a situation of "obtaining registration by deception or other improper means" and violated Paragraph 1 of Article 44 of the 2014 Trademark Law, so the disputed trademark should be declared invalid. The court revoked the ruling of invalidation by the CNIPA.
Xiamen Superman Technology Co., Ltd. appealed against the judgment of the first instance, however, the court of the second instance upheld the judgment of the first instance.
The legislative spirit stipulated in Paragraph 1, Article 44 of the 2014 Trademark Law is to implement the principle of public order and good morals, maintain good order in trademark registration and management, and create a good environment for the trademark market. What this article stipulates to prohibit is the situations by disrupting the order of trademark registration, harming the public interest, or improperly occupying public resources by deception or other improper means. In this case, the original registrant of the disputed trademark submitted a false individual business license when applying; Therefore, even if the disputed trademark had been transferred to a third party and already been used to a certain extent, it was still determined that the disputed trademark was "registered by deception or other improper means".
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