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SWISSGEAR trademark dispute concluded
“SWISSGEAR”商标案一审有果
Author:CopyFrom:hits:1408UpdateTime:2015/9/17 16:09:30Editor:

Beijing Intellectual Property Court recently concluded the SWISSGEAR trademark administrative dispute against the Trademark Office (TMO) under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) lodged by Wenger Company.
    In 2007, Wenger filed the SWISSGEAR trademark registration to SAIC on Class 8 products of manual tools etc.. Wenger’s filings were then challenged by a third company, a Fujian based company, Fuzhou Kuayang Trading Company, on grounds of similar with Switzerland’ country name Swiss and SWISSGEAR should not be approved as a trademark. TMO then denied Wenger’s application.
    Wenger then brought the case to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) under SAIC, and seek re-examination. In its written plea, Fuzhou Kuayang claimed that the trademark in dispute designated to apply on Class 8 products of manual tools merely indicates the common name and it also violates the China’s Trademark Law.
    After examination, TRAB dissmissed Wenger’s application on grounds of violations of Article 10 and Article 11 of China’s Trademark Law.
    Disgruntled Wenger lodged an administrative suit and brought TMO and TRAB to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. Wenger held two points of view. Firstly, the trademark do not violate China’s Trademark Law. Secondly, TMO’s decision violates the request principle. The Court held that the original opponent’s opinions should be included within TMO’s arbitral scope in general case. However, based on the public interests, the challenges related to Article 10, Article 11 and Article 12 should be considered as exceptional cases. Even if the opponent’s opinions were not taken during the re-examination period, further examination should be conducted during the suspension period.
    For the reasons mentioned above, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court made this decision and rejected Wenger’s filings.
  (by Zhu Wenming/ Su Jie)
  本报讯   近日,北京知识产权法院在“SWISSGEAR”商标异议复审行政纠纷案中对异议复审审查范围予以明确并充分说理。
  2007年9月12日,威戈有限公司(下称威戈公司)向中国国家工商行政管理总局商标局申请注册“SWISSGEAR”商标,指定使用商品为第8类手工操作的手工具等。该商标后被福州跨洋贸易有限公司(下称福州跨洋公司)提出异议。商标局经审查,以被异议商标与瑞士国名“SWISS”近似,不应作为商标使用为由,裁定被异议商标不予核准注册。
  威戈公司对该裁定不服,向国家工商行政管理总局商标评审委员会申请复审。福州跨洋公司在其《答辩书》中提到,“被异议商标指定使用在第8类的 ‘工具’等商品上仅仅直接表示了商品的通用名称,违反了中国商标法第十一条的规定”。
  国家工商行政管理总局商标评审委员会认为,被异议商标违反商标法第十条和第十一条,裁定被异议商标不予核准注册。
  威戈公司不服该裁定,向北京知识产权法院提起行政诉讼,认为被告将被异议商标是否构成中国商标法第十一条规定的情形纳入本案审理范围违反请求原则,且被异议商标并未违反此规定。北京知识产权法院认为,一般情况下,“原异议人的意见”不得超出商标局异议裁定的审理范围,但涉及商标法第十条、第十一条和第十二条适用的相关意见,可以作为例外情形。这主要是考虑到此三条的适用涉及到社会公共利益和商标识别作用的发挥,且即使在商标异议复审程序中不予考虑,在后续的商标无效宣告程序中仍需做进一步的审查。
  考虑到被诉决定符合中国商标法第十条的相关规定,北京知识产权法院判决驳回原告的诉讼请求。
 (祝文明  苏 杰)

 
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