Thursday, December 01, 2005
Chinese Chery Automobile has new IP conflict
After settling their dispute over an IP infringement with US General Motors out of court, Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. finds itself in a new legal fight with Tencent, China's biggest instant message service operator over the use of the name QQ.
"Tencent QQ is China's first instant messenger, launched and registered by Tencent in 1999. So far it has had more than 400 million users.
Chery also used QQ to name one of its economic cars launched in 2003; it applied to the Trademark Bureau of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce for the registration of the trademark in 2003."
"According to the Shenzhen Economic News, Chery said Tencent did not register QQ as a trademark for use in the auto industry."
Chery Automobile argues that QQ is not a highly-identified trademark but merely two letters. Not very confincing to my opinion coming from a a representative of a branch where many brands use even trademarks that consist of numbers for their models such as 4 (Renault)307 (Peugeot), 500 SEC (Mercedes).
"Representatives from Chery came to Shenzhen to negotiate with Tencent in 2003 but they failed to reach an agreement over the payment required by Tencent."
Read more here.