Beijing IP Court scrubs TRAB revocation, puts CRH TM back on track

发布时间: 2019/11/27 9:17:00

  Recently, Beijing IP Court made a first-instance judgment on the administrative dispute over revocation of the trademark right of China Academy of Railway Sciences Corporation Limited (CARS), canceling the revocation decision of registration of No. 5131441 "CRH" trademark made by the then-Trademark Review and Adjunction Board (TRAB) of the former State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC)。

  CRH is the English abbreviation of China Railway High-speed. In 2004, CARS filed for the registration of the "CRH" trademark (the trademark in dispute) and would obtain approval for registration on Class 35 services such as advertising and market research in 2009.

  CRH Group Services Limited (CRH Group) is a company registered in the United Kingdom. In 2005, the company applied for registration of the "CRH" trademark in China in fields such as construction and building materials. Since 2015, CRH Group has applied for trademark registration of "CRH" to SAIC's Trademark Office (TMO) without avail. In 2017, CRH Group filed an application for revocation of the trademark in dispute to TMO, arguing its failure use for three consecutive years. On October 20, 2017, TMO made a decision not to revoke the trademark. CRH Group refused to accept the decision and applied for a review at TRAB on November 16, 2017.

  TRAB held that the trademark had not been used publicly, genuinely and commercially on Class 35 services including advertising and market research from February 8, 2014 to February 7, 2017 and consequently revoked its registration.

  This time CARS refused to call it a day and brought the case to Beijing IP Court.

  In CARS's arguments, the trademark in dispute is a brand name that it has established for building China's high-speed railway system. The trademark has been widely used in the operation of China's high-speed rail since its registration; based on China's national conditions and historical factors, although CARS is the right holder of the trademark in dispute, the actual user is China Railway Corporation and its subsidiaries, so the latter's use of the trademark in dispute is regarded as the actual use of the trademark dispute. In summary, the CARS requested the court to revoke the decision made by TRAB and ordered it to make a de novo decision.

  Beijing IP Court held that the evidence submitted by the plaintiff could confirm that the trademark was filed by the CARS and its relationship with Qinghai Luxing Company Advertising Branch (Qinghai Branch), Gansu Jinlun Company and China Railway Corporation. The actual and commercial use of Qinghai Branch and Gansun Jinlun Company did not violate its intent which should be regarded as an act to honor obligations by the trademark owner. In this connection, the court revoked the decision of the then TRAB and requested it to take a new look.

  As of publication, CRH Group has appealed the decision.(by Sun Fanghua)

(Editor Zhang Mingxin)

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