Audi Safeguards Trademarks in China

2015-12-14
China IP News
China IP News  ————————————————

Audi Group recently brought a Beijing-based automobile service company to Beijing Shi jingshan People's Court, on grounds of unauthorized use of their registered trademark and infringement was constituted. The Court has heard this case.
 

Existing materials show that Audi Group entered the Chinese market and registered "Audi", "奥迪"and "Four-ring figures" as trademarks in China. Now, these marks are in valid state. The defendant Beijing Zhonghan Fangsheng automobile service company (hereinafter called Beijing Zhonghan)was founded in 2007, and its business covers vehicle maintenance, repair, sales and accessories sales. Beijing Zhonghan's previous name was Chengcheng Zhong'ao automobile service company.
 

Audi Group recently discovered that Beijing Zhonghan has illegally printed trademarks of "Audi", "Four-ring figure" and "奥迪" on their promotion materials, staff business cards, and even decorated their company with the marks above without authorization. Audi Group held that Beijing Zhonghan has infringed their registered trademarks. 

Beijing Zhonghan argued that they indeed used the Audi trademarks in relative materials, and they also used the Benz and BMW trademarks, but this usage just let the consumers know they can offer repair and maintenance service for corresponding brands. The consumers are aware that Beijing Zhonghan is just a third-party automobile service company, not a licensed Audi 4S shop. As a result, Beijing Zhonghan fairly used these marks and no infringement was constituted.

 

Audi Group held that Beijing Zhonghan had many choices to demonstrate their service scope, for example the Chinese trademark "奥迪" could play a role, they don't have to use the English trademark Audi and the Four-ring figure. Meanwhile, Beijing Zhonghan has printed the marks mentioned above on the billboards, glass doors, ceilings, promotion materials and business cards. All these materials will cause confusion among the public, these have been beyond fair use and infringement was constituted.
 

No sentence was made in the Court. CIP News will follow up the latest development of the case.