Friday, August 5 2022   \  Published by Lexgoal Law Office.

Recognition of Protection Standards for Non-territorial Name Rights

   The Chinese natural person, Fang Yuxing registered in China the trademark “MANOLO BLAHNIK with Chinese translation” in class 25 on the goods of  "shoes, boots”with the registration  1387094. MANOLO BLAHNIK filed the request of the invalidation declaration against the trademark with China National Intellectual Property Administration(CNIPA), and CNIPA rejected the  MANOLO BLAHNIK’s request and maintained the registration. MANOLO BLAHNIK filed the administration litigation against CNIPA with the Beijing IP Court(BIPC)  and  Beijing Higher People's Court(BHPC), but both courts did not support MANOLO BLAHNIK and the said trademark registration was maintained. The case was later retrialed by the Supreme People's Court(SPC). SPC recently has made the final judgement in support of Mr.MANOLO BLAHNIK. According to the SPC judgement , MANOLO BLAHNIK is a world-renowned shoe designer whose name is a Spanish non-fixed collocation vocabulary. The foreign language part of the disputed trademark "MANOLO BLAHNIK with its Chinese translation" is exactly the same as the name of MANOLO BLAHNIK. As a business operator who has been in the industry for nearly 20 years, Fang Yuzhou registered the disputed trademark on class 25 "shoes, boots" and other commodities, which is hardly a coincidence. The trademark registration damaged Manolo Blahnik's right of name and should be invalid.  The core of the protection of the prior name right is whether the reference relationship between the trademark identification in the specific goods and service fields and the name of the natural person is established and known to the relevant public. According to the relevant law,  if the relevant public believes that the proposed trademark  refers to the natural person and it is easy by the public to  believe that the goods or services marked with the trademark has been licensed by the natural person or has a specific connection with the natural person, the court shall judge that the trademark has damaged the natural person's  name right. To measure the popularity of non-territorial natural persons, their direct influence on the mainland of China should be considered, and at the same time, the magazine propaganda, tour performances, film and television works, etc.,results in the popularity formed outside the mainland of China and Hong Kong as radiated to the mainland, the situation of which should also be considered and recognized.

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