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Toyota’s crown troubled by a trademark dispute
Author:王国浩CopyFrom:hits:1481UpdateTime:2016/1/27 17:02:12Editor:

      As a saying goes, one nation can’t have two queens. Recently, because of a crown trademark dispute, two automobile companies entered the tribunal room and sought legal support. One protagonist in this story is Toyota, an automobile giant, its crown series have been very popular among the consumers. The other is a Hubei based company, Wuhan Municipal Environment and Sanitation Machinery Company (hereinafter as Wuhan Company), a special vehicle manufacturer. Wuhan Company’s products were popular among consumers nationwide and in Southeast Asian markets, such as Indonesia and Bangladesh,etc.
    Existing materials show that the Wuhan Company, former Wuhan municipal machinery company, was founded 40 years ago and is a main supplier of mechanical products for municipal environment and sanitation use, such as suction sewage truck, cleaning tanker and garbage truck. Crown was Wuhan Company’s legally certified trademark.
    In December 2014, Toyota challenged Wuhan Company’s trademark and sought revocation of it on grounds of disuse for three consecutive years. However, its request was rejected. In November 2015, Wuhan Company brought Toyota and a Wuhan based automobile dealer to the court on grounds of trademark infringement. The ever defendant became accuser. Wuhan Company held that they had filed the NO. 217925 crown and its figures trademarks on Class 12, products of special vehicle, and their filings were certified in December 1984. Up to now, these marks are within validity. Wuhan Company held that their marks were once honored as Hubei provincial famous trademarks and they never disused the marks on their products. However, Toyota has always used the crown character as their commercial brand since the establishment of its Tianjin branch. Toyota has infringed the exclusive right of the Wuhan Company’s trademark.
    Wuhan Company requested the court to order the defendant to cease using crown as trademarks, split the crown trademark and its figure, destroy relative publicity materials, and compensate 2 million yuan for economic loss. Hubei Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court has handled the case.
    CIP News will follow the update of this case.
 (by Wang Guohao)
本报讯 作为一汽丰田旗下的汽车品牌,“crown”(中文皇冠)可谓家喻户晓,但在湖北省武汉市有一家“皇冠”汽车品牌,不过该“皇冠”系为特种汽车品牌。在天津一汽丰田汽车有限公司(下称天津一汽公司)于2014年12月以连续3年停止使用为由,申请撤销武汉市政环卫机械有限公司(下称武汉市政环卫公司)持有的“皇冠及图”商标未果后,武汉市政环卫公司于2015年11月以商标侵权为由,将天津一汽公司诉至法院,一同列为被告的还有武汉当地的一家丰田汽车经销商。
据了解,武汉市政环卫公司是国家建设部定点生产市政环卫机械的专业公司,有近40年生产市政、环卫机械产品的历史。2002年由原武汉市市政机械厂改制,成立国控有限公司,主要产品有吸污车、清洗车、垃圾车等系列产品共30多个品种。该公司持有的注册商标“皇冠”为其自主品牌名称,相关产品行销全国29个省、区、直辖市,并出口到印尼、孟加拉等国家。
武汉市政环卫公司诉称,其于1984年12月获准注册第217925号“皇冠及图”商标,核定使用在第12类特种汽车商品上,目前该商标仍在有效期内。自获准注册以来,武汉市政环卫公司一直在其生产的大型车辆上使用“皇冠及图”商标,该商标曾被认定为湖北省著名商标。天津一汽丰田公司成立至今,一直将中文“皇冠”作为其“CROWN”牌轿车的中文名称使用,并进行广告宣传。丰田汽车“皇冠”名称与武汉市政环卫公司拥有的“皇冠及图”商标近似,天津一汽丰田公司未经许可使用“皇冠”名称的行为已构成商标侵权。
据此,武汉市政环卫公司请求法院判令天津一汽丰田及另一被告停止使用中文“皇冠”作为轿车的商品名称,拆除“CROWN”牌轿车的图标标识,销毁相关宣传品等,并赔偿其经济损失200万元。据悉,湖北省武汉市中级人民法院目前已受理该案。

 
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