The first-instance civil verdict on trademark infringement and unfair competition disputes between Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd. and Beijing Sohu Internet Information Service Co., Ltd. were announced recently. The plaintiff is Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd., and the defendant is Shenzhen Cao Cao Huo Di Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing Sohu Internet Information Service Co., Ltd.
According to the judgment, the plaintiff claimed that Geely Holding Company enjoyed the exclusive right to use the trademark No. 5035595 "Cao Cao" and the trademark No. 16873716 "Cao Cao". Shenzhen Cao Cao Huo Di company uses a large number of words "Cao Cao Huo Di" on its official website, "Cao Chao Huo Di" WeChat public account, and Sohu.com, which is enough to cause the relevant public to confuse the source of its services and infringed Geely Holding Company's trademark rights. As a competitor of the same industry, Shenzhen Cao Cao Huo Di company should be aware of the trademarks involved and the "Cao Cao Special Car" brand, but still register and use "Cao Cao Huo Di" as a brand name and publicize its corporate name, which has obvious intention to "free ride" and cling to the goodwill of Geely Holding Company, which constitutes unfair competition. Sohu Company released the articles "Select Cao Cao Huo Di -- Shopping Carnival Delivery Choice" and "Congratulations to "Cao Cao Huo Di" for the successful financing of 150 million yuan in the A round. ”and many others, publicizing the infringement of Shenzhen Cao Caohuo’s company, which constituted a joint infringement.
In response, the court held that Shenzhen Cao Caohuo’s company highlighted the use of the corporate name "Cao Cao Huo Di" which is similar to the trademark involved in the same services as the approved use of the trademark in question, which could easily mislead the relevant public and belong to the infringement of the right to exclusive use of a registered trademark as specified in Article 57 Item 7 of the Trademark Law.
Source: China IP Today