Haagen-Dazs Triggers the Trademark Slugfest

Haagen-Dazs Triggers the Trademark Slugfest


Haagen-Dazs as an American ice cream brand, is successfully developed by one of the world's largest food General Mills company (General Mills). However, after discovering counterfeit clothes marked with " Haager-Dasz " trademark for sale, General Mills brought the case to the court on the ground of trademark infringement.

The natural person Yin Xing applied for "Haager-Dasz" as a registered trademark in June 2003, certified to be used on Class 25, the good of clothes and shoes. In the period announced, General Mills challenged the trademark to the Trademark Office (TMO) under SAIC. However, the TMO denied General Mills's claim and registered the disputed trademark. Then General Mills lodged a reexamination of trademark opposition to the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) but failed. The disgruntled General Mills brought the case to the court.

General Mills held that the two cited trademarks of "哈根逹斯" and "Haagen-Dazs "were certified to be used on Class 30 in April 1997 and November 1986 respectively.

General Mills maintained that the two cited trademark had become well-known mark among the public with high reputation."Haagen-Dazs"was a term coined created by General Mills. The questioned trademark constituted malicious copy and plagiarism due to nearly the same character design of the trademark "Haager-Dasz". Yin also took advantage of the Haagen-Dazs's reputation to harvest inequitable interests.

In the trial, the court took the view that the cited trademarks had been a well-known brands in food as well as well-known trademarks and the questioned trademark might take advantage of the Haagen-Dazs's reputation on purpose to gain visibility. The logo function of Haagen-Dazs may significantly decrease. The questioned trademark was revoked.

The disgruntled TRAB then appealed to the Beijing Higher People's Court, which would later make the decision above. We will continue to follow it.

(Source: China IP News)

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