China’s Beijing High People’s Court on July 15 upheld three lower court rulings in favor of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) in three complaints lodged by Chinese company Guizhou Juncheng Tianxia Management Consultancy Co., Ltd. (贵州君成天下企业管理咨询有限公司) over its trademark invalidation decisions, alleging that the government agency erred in its findings of the company’s Chinese trademarks Reg. Nos. 13,313,500; 12,732,434; 16,247,167 registered in 2015 being confusingly similar to three Chinese trademarks Reg. Nos. 4,481,218; 6,879,947; 13,403,245 U.S. retail women’s clothing company Victoria’s Secret Store Brand Management Co., Ltd. registered between 2005 and 2013.
Juncheng Tianxia’s three disputed trademarks all include Chinese characters 维秘 and their pinyin WEIMI and are registered for goods in Class 25. The infringed trademarks 维多利亚的秘密 (Victoria’s Secret’s Chinese translation) are also known as its acronym 维秘, which enjoys high public recognition in its own right in China, and are registered for goods in Class 25 as well uniformly prior to the disputed trademarks.
The appellate court agreed with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court that Juncheng Tianxia’s conduct in using its trademarks caused a likelihood of confusion with the U.S.-based company’s trademarks under Articles 30 and 31 of the third amendments to the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China effective in 2014, yet not with its trade name Victoria’s Secret Store Brand Management Co., Ltd. under Article 32 of the law. The appellate court vacated in part the lower court ruling that the infringing trademarks were not deceptive and didn’t mislead the public in identifying the source of the products under Article 44 Paragraph 1 of the law.
The case docket nos. are （2021）京行终7835号, （2021）京行终7836号, and （2021）京行终7837号, whose English translations are 7835, second instance (终), administrative case (行), (2021) Beijing High People’s Court (（2021）京); 7836, second instance (终), administrative case (行), (2021) Beijing High People’s Court (（2021）京); 7837, second instance (终), administrative case (行), (2021) Beijing High People’s Court (（2021）京).