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Burberry wins trademark infringement case in China

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Burberry unveils new Burberry Classics line. Credits: Burberry

British heritage fashion house Burberry has been awarded six million renminbi (675,668 pounds) in damages in a Chinese trademark infringement case.

Lusheng, a Chinese law firm and patent agency specialising in multinational intellectual property, helped Burberry win the significant trademark infringement case against Chinese company Xinboli Trading Shanghai in the Jiangsu Provincial High People's Court.

The court found that Xinboli Trading Shanghai was guilty of trademark infringement and unfair competition for selling and advertising products using Burberry’s protected checked graphic trademarks on Tmall and WeChat, along with the trademark ‘Baneberry’ and a registered logo resembling Burberry’s Equestrian Knight design.

The proceedings also heard that the Chinese company hosted more than 40 pop-up stores over 12 months across China to further amplify the infringing activities.

Damages were calculated based on the total number of infringements, deduced using retail receipts from the alleged infringing stores, and the level of malicious intent and the severity of the infringement. As a result, twice the punitive damages were applied in this case.

In a statement, Lusheng said it collected and submitted more than 5,000 pages of evidence on behalf of Burberry to prove that its trademarks were already well-known in China when the company applied for trademark registration in 2006 and 2009, respectively.

Amily Chen, managing IP counsel at Burberry, said: “China is home to one of the largest luxury goods markets globally, making it a key market for Burberry. Upholding our brand reputation in China is critical, and thanks to Lusheng’s skill and commitment to local enforcement, we’ve been able to maintain a high level of protections on our brand.”

Commenting on the case, Alice Yu, lead attorney at Lusheng, added: “This case marks an important moment in Chinese IP litigation. Strategically, it shows how well-positioned China is for temporary injunction protection and combating malicious trademark registrations, and it signposts confidence in China’s judiciary.

“We’re seeing that seeking civil litigation and even interim injunctions is increasingly becoming a way for brands to resolve bad faith trademark squatting in China. We’re proud to have helped Burberry protect its brand equity from further disruption.”

Executive Report
Intellectual Property