Sogal Won the Trademark Infringement Dispute, years of Rights Protection Finally Came to an End

Borsam IP
China IP Today—————————————

Recently, following a final judgment pronounced by Beijing Higher People’s Court, the trademark dispute between Guangdong Sogal Co., Ltd. and Zhongshan Sofier Co., Ltd. has temporarily concludedSofier’s claim failed to receive the Court’s support. China National Intellectual Property Administration’s ruling on maintaining the No. 8486041 "Sogal" trademark was finally revoked.


It is understood that the "Sogal" furniture custom brand started in France and entered the Chinese market in 2001 and cooperated with Guangzhou Ningji Decoration Industrial Co., Ltd., the predecessor of Sogal Home Furnishing Company. On April 16, 2001, Ningji Company submitted an application for registration of the No. 1761206 "Sogal" trademark (hereinafter referred to as the cited trademark), which was approved for registration on the 20th category, furniture, sideboards, non-metal door installations, etcon May 7, 2002.


On July 16, 2010, Zhongshan Qisheng Electric Technology Co., Ltd. (business license has been revoked) submitted an application to register the disputed trademark. In this regard, Sogal Home Furnishing Company once raised an objection, but the objection review was unsuccessful. The disputed trademark was approved for registration on April 21, 2015 for use in air conditioning equipment, kitchen range hoods, cooking appliances, gas stoves, etc. in the No.11 Category.


In February 2017, the disputed trademark was approved to be transferred to Sofier Electric Company. In October 2017, Sogal Home Furnishing Company and Sofier Electric Company started a dispute over the trademark.


In September 2019, CNIPA ruled that the disputed trademark (Sofier Electric) was maintained. Sogal Home Furnishing refused to accept the ruling and submitted relevant materials to Beijing Intellectual Property Court for appeal within the statutory time limit.


Although Sophia Electric Company proposed that the cited trademark does not constitute a well-known trademark in the second instance, Article 14 of the Trademark Law clearly stipulates whether the trademark is well-known or not. The trademark owner shall determine whether the trademark has been used continuously, the scope of publicity, the protected record and provide evidence in terms of public awareness and other aspects. Judging from the relevant evidence submitted by Sogal Home Furnishing Company, it can fully prove that its cited trademark has reached the well-known level before the trademark application in dispute.


In the end, the Beijing Higher People’s Court ruled that Sogal Furniture has continuously used the Sogal trademark on furniture products in China for many years. Sogal Furniture has been well-known to the relevant public on furniture products and has reached a well-known status. The ruling that the "Sogal" trademark was maintained has been revoked and finally brought a satisfactory end to rights defense.

Source: China IP Today