Simmons was rejected in trademark case
American Dream Limited Company (hereafter as Dream Company) filed the “Simmons” trademark applications for registration on the shall table, couches, mattresses and other goods, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce rejected the application for trademark registration, for its lacking of significant grounds, and the carried out preliminary examination of the application for registration on shall table, display boards and other commodities. Dream Company refused to accept the decision, and brought an administrative lawsuit to Beijing Intellectual Property Court. Recently, the court made the decision in first instance maintaining the decision by TRAB.
It is reported that, in April 2014, Trademark Office under the State Administration for Industry and (hereinafter as Trademark Office ) rejected the application for trademark registration for the reason that “Simmons” is the generic name of the mattress, the mattress and related products, and should not be a monopoly for single company.
Dream Company refused to accept the decision by Trademark Office and applied for review to TRAB within the statutory time.
TRAB held that, disputed trademark contained a significant character “席梦思” was recognized as the generic name of the mattress, and should not be a monopoly for single company on the couch, mattresses and other goods, while, the use of disputed trademark registration application on the table and other commodities could be preliminarily examined.
Then, Dream Company brought administrative lawsuit to Beijing Intellectual Property Court. Dream company claimed, disputed trademark “席梦思” came from the surname of the company founder and the company’s well-known brand “SIMMONS”, as well as the corresponding Chinese transliteration of “SIMMONS”, and Dream Company is the legitimate owner of the trademark “席梦思”. And the evidence submitted by Dream Company could prove the trademark is not a generic name, the characters in “席梦思” do not appear in the national standards or industry standards.
The court held that, although the disputed trademark is constituted by the Chinese character “席梦思”and English “Simmons”, but “席梦思” is main identification section of the trademark, if used on the mattress, spring mattresses and other reviewed goods, it could be easily understood as a mattress by relevant public, and they are unable to identify it as a trademark, thus, it is difficult to distinguish the origin of goods. The evidence submitted by Dream Company is not sufficient to prove the trademark had obtained salient features required for trademark registration through the use when the decision was made.
(by Mao Liguo)