Unilever Preveals in Package Protection

2015-07-10
China IP News
China IP News  ————————————————

As one of the seasonings of Unilever (China), "Jiale" spicy seasoning gained population once entering the market. However, another product named "Gangdong" uses the similar package with "Jiale", raising the Unilever's discontent. The production and sales enterprise of "Jiale", Guangzhou Chuangwei Food Co., LTD. was accused by Unilever to Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court. Recently, the court made the final judgment, affirming the Guangzhou Chuangwei's unfair competition.
 

"Jiale" seasoning product came to the market in 2009. In July 2012, Guangzhou  Chuangwei was suspected to counterfeit "Jiale"spicy seasoning in a site for business. After investigation, the Guangzhou Administration for Industry and Commerce affirmed that Guangzhou Chuangwei was involved in unfair competition by counterfeiting Unilever's package of "Jiale", and accordingly the company was fined 10,000 yuan and confiscated the illegal gains. Guangzhou Chuangwei paid the fines and did not mention review or litigation within the prescribed period of time. Subsequently, Unilever instituted litigation to Guangzhou Baiyun District People's Court, accusing Guangzhou Chuangwei's unfair competition behavior by counterfeiting the package of "Jiale" spicy seasoning.
 

It is revealed that the main design and red-green style of the bottom part of the bottle package of the two products are the same. Both of them have the same green interval in which there are four light white circles, and the graphics and text are the same. After investigation, the court affirmed that Guangzhou Chuangwei's behaviors are unfair competition, so it was ordered to stop the production and sales of infringing products, and pay 45,000 yuan of compensation for the economic losses and reasonable rights charges for Unilever.
 

Guangzhou Chuangwei refused to accept the judgment and instituted an appeal to Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court. After review, the court affirmed that Unilever's "Jiale" and Guangzhou Chuangwei's "Gangdong" belonging to the same kind of goods. The two products have the similar package, which may cause confusion among consumers. Accordingly, the court maintained the original judgment in final judgment.