Published on December 24th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
China courts fine BMW copycats
A court in Shanghai ordered two Chinese firms and the founder of one of them to pay BMW 3 million yuan (USD432,000) for registering trademarks similar to that of the German automaker, the Shanghai Daily reported.
The ruling is the latest win for a large foreign firm in China, a sign that courts are taking trademark infringement more seriously in a country dogged with fakes of everything from clothing brands to entire shops.
Zhou Leqin, one of the accused, registered Deguo Baoma Group (Int’l) Holdings Limited, which translates as German BMW Group (Int’l) Holdings Limited, in China in 2008. With the company, Zhou then bought and registered the trademark “BMN,” with a logo similar to BMW’s.
Fashion firm Chuangjia, the second firm fined, then used the trademark on products including clothes, shoes and bags, changing the logo over the years to more closely resemble BMW’s.
The accused infringed BMW’s trademarks registered in China by taking advantage of its reputation.