News / General News

Weekly China Trademark News Updates – September 20, 2023


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:

  1. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has determined that “JIE BA in Chinese” does not contain objectionable content and complies with national regulations and has approved its publication and operation. The “JIE BA in Chinese” game has never been punished for containing objectionable content since its release in the mainland Chinese market.
  2. The Disputed Mark has a positive meaning and does not violate Article 10.1.8 of the Trademark Law.
  3. The Disputed Mark has gained extremely high popularity and reputation through extensive use without causing any adverse effects.
  4. A mark containing the word “JIE BA in Chinese” has been approved for registration, which proves that the meaning of ” JIE BA in Chinese” is positive and will not cause any adverse effects.
  5. Several prior cases have pointed out that when the CNIPA determines whether a trademark constitutes the circumstances of Article 10.1.8 of the Trademark Law, it should be based on objective facts and avoid subjective assumptions.

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.

   Follow us on LinkedIn!
Email: trademark@beijingeastip.com
Tel: +86 10 8518 9318 | Fax: +86 10 8518 9338
Address: Suite 1601, Tower E2, Oriental Plaza, 1 East Chang An Ave., Dongcheng Dist., Beijing, 100738, P.R. China