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BMW wins trademark battle in China 宝马“MINI”商标注册案尘埃落定
Author:CopyFrom:hits:1865UpdateTime:2016/1/6 16:23:44Editor:

      Beijing Higher People’s Court recently made the second-instance rule in the trademark dispute case between mini and MINI, revoked the decision made by the Trademark Review and Adjudication (TRAB) under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, and verdicts of the first-instance made by Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court.
    Before that, BMW intended to apply for MINI as a registered trademark and to be used on car models. As the “mini” trademark was a prior trademark, so TRAB rejected the registration. The disgruntled BMW then brought the case to Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court.
    The MINI trademark in question was NO.6169130 trademark, which was applied by BMW for registration in July 2007, certified to be used on Class 28 car model products.
    The cited trademark was NO.851498 “mini”, which was applied by Guangzhou ZhujiangMeileduo Drinks Company for registration in July 1994, and certified to be used on Class 28 products including toy, game machine. 
    Rejected by TRAB, BMW then brought the case to Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court.
    In October 2009, the Trademark Office under SAIC rejected the registration of MINI trademark as the mini and MINI trademark constituted similar trademark when used on the same product.
    At the first instance stage, BMW challenged the “mini” trademark and sought rejection from TMO on the ground that the trademark has not been used in China for three consecutive years. While at the second instance stage, TMO has revoked the “mini”trademark in 2015 as the trademark has not been used for three consecutive years. Beijing First People’s Court upheld TRAB’s decision, and BMW brought the case to Beijing Higher People’s Court.
    The court held that, as the “mini” trademark had been revoked, so the prior right was lost. In such case, if the cited trademark was revoked, and trademark in question has not yet registered, the decision should be made according to the principle of changed circumstances.  (by Mao Liguo)
本报讯 日前,北京市高级人民法院作出二审判决,撤销了国家工商行政管理总局商标评审委员会(下称商评委)不予核准德国宝马股份公司(下称宝马公司)“MINI”申请注册商标的决定及北京市第一中级人民法院一审判决的决定。
此前,宝马公司欲将旗下的汽车品牌“MINI”申请注册商标,使用在汽车模型商品上,却遭遇在先商标“mini”,商评委决定不予核准注册,宝马公司不服商评委不予核准的决定,随后向北京市第一中级人民法院提起行政诉讼。
据了解,诉争商标为第6169130号“MINI”商标,由宝马公司于2007年7月提出注册申请,指定使用在第28类微型汽车模型商品上。
2009年10月,国家工商行政管理总局商标局(下称商标局)作出《商标驳回通知书》,驳回了诉争商标的注册申请。主要理由为,诉争商标与引证商标构成使用在同一种或类似商品上的近似商标。
据了解,引证商标为第851498号“mini”商标,由广东省广州珠江美乐多饮品(香港)有限公司于1994年7月提出注册申请,后被核定使用在第28类玩具、游戏机等商品上。
宝马公司不服商标局决定,随后向商评委申请复审,在复审同样未得到支持后,宝马公司向北京市第一中级人民法院提起行政诉讼。
一审诉讼中,宝马公司针对引证商标以连续3年停止使用为由,向商标局提出撤销申请。而在二审期间,引证商标已因连续3年不使用被商评委决定予以撤销,商标局已于2015年9月作出撤销公告。一审法院判决维持了商评委不予核准的决定,宝马公司向北京市高级人民法院提起上诉。
二审法院经审理认为,由于该案引证商标已被撤销,丧失了商标专用权,因此已不构成诉争商标注册的在先权利障碍。因此,在商标申请驳回复审案件中,如果引证商标被撤销,鉴于诉争商标尚未完成注册,应根据情势变更原则,依据变化的事实依法作出裁决。 (毛立国)

 
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