Monday, January 18, 2010


The Bharti Wal-Mart joint venture in India is facing problems with the trademarking of some of its food products.

In 2008 the company filed applications to register its Great Value (GV) label with a logo to the Indian Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks.

It has been reported that the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks office did not grant either the logo or the trademark to Bharti Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart has successfully registered the GV brand in other countries without incident, and the company has already launched several GV products in India without having the appropriate trademark registration for the products.
Bharti Wal-Mart has also filed several applications seeking to trademark ‘Indian-sounding' names, such as Sankskar, Sabhyata, Cimran, Pranay, Srishti and Jovaki, but the company faced opposition to most of these applications

Monday, January 4, 2010


Nivea, a global skin- and body-care brand owned by Beiersdorf Company of Germany, has prevailed in its trademark dispute with Yingzi Cosmetics Co., Ltd. The Beijing People's No. 2 Intermediate Court ruled that although Yingzi's "OUMEINA" trademark is not identical to Beiersdorf's "NIVEA" trademark, the pattern, word arrangement and wrapping were similar enough to cause customer confusion and constitute trademark infringement.
Yingzi argued against customer confusion, asserting that Nivea is not a well-enough known brand in China, that the marks "NIVEA" and "OUMEINA" are not similar, and that the respective customer classes are different (e.g., the respective brands have different price ranges and are carried in different stores). Yingzi also argued that the Nivea wrapping is typical cosmetics wrapping, and therefore did not distinguish Beierdorf's products.
Nevertheless, the court ruled against Yingzi, because the respective brands are used in the same industry and in association with same product type. Moreover, although the marks are different and the wrapping is arguably generic, the decorations (colors and shapes) on Nivea's wrapping are sufficiently unique to cause customer confusion where Yingzi's wrapping decorations were similar. The court ordered Yingzi to pay damages of RMB120,000 to Beiersdorf.