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Left: Out in the cold - this cat forgot to sign up for the IPKat circular email list
Coffee tastes best in China cups
In a rare foray into intellectual property issues, the BBC reports on Starbucks' victory in a long-running trade mark dispute in China. According to the report, a Shanghai court has concluded that Chinese firm Xingbake infringed the US firm's rights by using a Chinese name and logo similar to Starbucks. Shanghai Xingbake had been ordered to stop using its name and to pay the US retailer 500,000 yuan ($62,000) in damages.
Starbucks, who have 300 outlets in China and have traded there since 1999, use the name Xingbake in China. In Chinese, 'Xing' means 'star' while 'bake' sounds like 'bucks'. Xingbake said it registered its name in 2000, before Starbucks had secured its trade mark in China. However, Starbucks said it registered its name and logo in 1996 and claimed that the use of the Xingbake name in Shanghai Xingbake's 38 Shanghai outlets violated its intellectual property rights. The court concluded that Xingbake's name and logo was similar to Starbucks' and that the US company was entitled to have the sole right to use its name in both English and Chinese.
Left: Call this a cat-puccino?
The IPKat is delighted to see IP enforced both in respect of English trade marks and their Chinese transliterations and variations. The damages may seem small by Western standards, but the principle has been established and the result will do a lot to boost confidence in Chinese trade marks. Merpel adds, but how much does having a Chinese trade mark cost in terms of policing and enforcement?
Starbucks fails against Charbucks here
The new Drive-Thru Starbucks here
Chantico to go, here