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Weekly China Trademark News Updates
September 20, 2023
1. Legislative Plans of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress involve trademark law, anti-unfair competition law, etc.
The 14th National People’s Congress Standing Committee has recently released its legislative plan, covering a total of 130 cases divided into three categories: the first category is 79 relatively mature draft laws for review, including the Draft Anti-unfair Competition Law, etc. The second category is 51 draft laws that need to be worked on quickly and should be reviewed when conditions are met, including the Draft Trademark Law, etc. The third category is those that have not yet met legislative conditions, and continued research and demonstration such as data ownership and network governance.
2. Capcom’s application for the Chinese name of Street Fighter in class 41 was refused again
The video game company Capcom used “街头霸王”/“街霸” as the Chinese name for its game “Street Fighter.”
CAPCOM U.S.A., INC. (“Capcom”) has successively applied for “街霸 (JIE BA in Chinese)” on online games, amusement arcade services, entertainment, and other services in Class 41 in November 2017, December 2019, and April 2021, but all of them have been refused by the CNIPA based on Article 10.1.8 for unhealthy social influence.
For its third attempt, Capcom had decided to appeal the CNIPA decision to the Beijing IP Court. The Court rejected its claims by affirming Article 10.1.8, and Capcom further pursued the case to the next level, the Beijing High Court, arguing that:
The Beijing High Court has just rendered the second instance judgment. In its opinion, the court held that: in this case, the Disputed Mark consisted of the Chinese characters “街霸.” According to the general understanding of the Chinese public, “街霸” has meanings such as “bully in the street” and “bullying.” If used as a trademark on ” amusement arcade services; entertainment information” and other services, they will likely have a negative impact on China’s culture, which fell under the circumstances stipulated in Article 10.1.8 of the Trademark Law. In addition, the opinion of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television about the absence of objectionable content in the game “Street Fighter 5” was not necessarily related to the determination whether the Disputed Mark in this case should be approved for registration. The application, review, and approval status of other trademarks are not relevant to this case and cannot be the basis for concluding this case. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed and the original judgment was affirmed.
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