The US sportswear company New Balance has won an important lawsuit in China related to its trademark.
The case at hand concerns the Chinese company New Barlun that uses the letter N on shoes. This letter is a New Balance well-know trademark all over the world. However, New Barlun succeeded to registered the sign first in China.
The US company initiated a lawsuit seeking invalidation of the mark based on a bad faith registration that took advantages of the New Balance’s trademark global reputation.
The court concurred with the US company finding bad faith approached by New Barlun, which was proven by the fact that the Chinese company failed to cease infringement despite the court issuing an interim injunction order.
The Court ordered $2.83 million in damages to New Balance for the trademark infringement. This is one of the biggest sum awarded by a Chinese court in case of trademark infringement in the field of sportswear.
Another indicative moment regarding this dispute is that trademark registration doesn’t mean a save harbor for the relevant applicant if the mark is registered in bad faith especially in light of worldwide well-known brands.