“CARTELO” Approved for Registration

2008/2/1By China IP,[Trademark]

According to a Xinhua News Agency report on January 26, Beijing High People's Court rendered a final judgment in the "crocodile" trademark infringement case that involved LA CHEMISE LACOSTE and CROCODILE INTERNATIONAL PTE LTD. The court ruled that the trademark "CARTELO" registered in China by CROCODILE INTERNATIONAL PTE LTD was legal and valid, and approved its registration.

On December 24, 1993, CROCODILE INTERNATIONAL PTE LTD applied for the registration of "CARTELO and device" in China. LA CHEMISE LACOSTE objected. The SAIC Trademark Office issued a decision on October 22, 2003 granting the registration of the trademark. This caused dissatisfaction with LA CHEMISE LACOSTE which then requested for re-examination. However, on June 30, 2005, SAIC Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) issued a similar ruling. LA CHEMISE LACOSTE brought an action in Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court, requesting revocation of the above-mentioned ruling. Ultimately, Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court reversed SAIC TRAB's ruling and requested that the TRAB draft a new decision after re-examining the trademark opposition within three months as of the adjudication. Dissatisfied SAIC TRAB and CROCODILE INTERNATIONAL PTE LTD, appealed to Beijing High People's Court.   

The court held that the trademark "CARTELO" was a combined trademark of characters and device, and had an appointed color. "CARTELO" is a fabricated word without any implications, and enjoys high distinctiveness and originality. It plays a dominant role in the entire trademark. The logo is comprised of a green, blue, and red-colored rectangle as background, and a realistic portrayal of crocodile intermingled in the words. They play a subordinate role. Although this crocodile is similar to a graphic trademark of LA CHEMISE LACOSTE in configuration (only the orientations of head and tail are at variance), the big differences exist in the wording and overall appearance. In the meantime, these two trademarks have coexisted for years with huge popularity and distinctive characteristics of each. Easily differentiated by the public, they do not cause confusion or lead to "trademark proximity" of similar merchandise. Beijing High People's Court reversed the decision of Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court and in agreement with the ruling of SAIC TRAB, approved registration of the "CARTELO" trademark.

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