Chinese food companies fined $32,000 for infringing Japanese throat refresher trademarks

China’s Shanghai Intellectual Property Court on January 20 upheld a lower court’s ruling ordering Hangzhou Hohsi Industrial Co., Ltd. (杭州禾玺实业有限公司) and Fujian Jinjiang Zhenkouwei Food Co., Ltd. (福建省晋江市真口味食品有限公司) to pay 200,000 yuan ($32,000) in damages to Tokyo-based Japanese pharmaceutical company Ryukakusan Co., Ltd. (株式会社 龍角散) for infringing its trademark rights.


Ryukakusan was a family powdered herbal cough medicine. The Japenese company was founded to sell Ryukusan as medicine in 1928 and Ryukusan has become a household name in Japan since then. The company began to sell throat refreshing products using the Ryukusan brand in 1967, which has become popular in Japan and in China. The Japanese company registered its Ryukakusan trademarks in China in 1997.


Ryukakusan Co., Ltd. filed a lawsuit with the Pudong New Area People’s Court of Shanghai city against Hohsi and Zhenkouwei for manufacturing and distributing throat refreshers counterfeiting Ryukuakusan’s packaging and infrining its trademarks, seeking 500,000 yuan ($79,000) in damages, in 2019. Ryukakusan also brought the case against a third defendent Shanghai Pudong New Area Hangtou Town Daozhong Convenience Store (上海市浦东新区航头镇道忠便利店) selling the infringing products. 

The trial court found for the plaintiff and awarded 200,000 yuan ($32,000) in damages to it. Hohsi appealed the case to the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, and the higher court upheld the trial court’s decision.

The case docket no. is 2021)沪73民终161, whose English transliteration is 161, second instance (终), civil case (民), (2021) Shanghai Intellectual Property Court (2021)沪73).