Friday, October 05, 2007

Trademark and Trade Dress Infringement Case: Wangzhihe versus German Supermarket OKAI

Mr Peter Ollier of Managing Intellectual Properties investigates the challenges Chinese brands have in their strategy to conquer foreign markets, read more here. He mentioned the trademark infringement case of Wangzhihe (Beijing flavoured Beancurd), which was founded in 1678! according to Xinhua, versus OKAI, a German supermarket chain. A Munich Court started hearing the case August 8, Mr Ollier writes.

Mr Ollier uses this example to look more generally to potential problems facing Chinese companies who have set their eyes on expansion abroad:
  • prior trademark registrations;

  • high cost of international filings;

  • the need to translate their name or rebrand altogether;

  • lack of awareness within the company about the importance of brand protection;

  • in some cases: becoming sufficiently innovative to make the move from OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to creating a distinctive, valuable brand.

Read the Xinhua article: 'Beancurd Brand Filed Lawsuit Against German Company' here and the article 'Chinese brands Wangzhihe, Baijia bring German company to court' here.

UPDATE: Mr Peter Ollier of Managing Intellectual Property was so kind as to elaborate about the identity of the defendant at the request of IP Dragon: "Okai Import Export GmbH | Okai China Supermarkt | China & Asia Lebensmittel Industrieproduktion", based in Berlin, Germany. Thank you Mr Ollier.

No comments: