Zhong Lun Law Firm Represented Australia Treasury Wine Estates before the Supreme People’s Court and Won Another Favorable Judgment for BEN FU Mark
Recently, the Supreme People’s Court of the People's Republic of China (SPC) rendered retrial judgment regarding the administrative lawsuit re refusal of application “奔富 (BEN FU or the applied mark)” filed by a subsidiary of Treasury Wine Estate (TWE). SPC concluded that the facts based on which the applied mark was refused no longer exist and therefore revoked the second instance judgement rendered by Beijing High People’s Court, the first instance judgement rendered by Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court and the review decision issued by Trademark Review and Adjudication Board of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People's Republic of China (TRAB).
Before this, the applied mark was once refused by the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People's Republic of China (CTMO) by citing a pre-emptively registered mark for “奔富 (BEN FU, the cited mark)”. Entrusted by TWE, Zhong Lun successfully cancelled the cited mark after two instances of administrative lawsuits which last more than 5 years, and finally cleared the prior obstacle for the applied mark. The favorable second instance judgement regarding cancellation of the cited mark also went through a retrial proceeding and sustained by the SPC eventually.
BEN FU is the corresponding Chinese mark for Penfolds, a famous wine brand owned by Australia’s largest wine group TWE. Due to high business value, BEN FU mark was pre-emptively registered by various entities in different classes. The applied mark was applied for registration on the goods of wines in class 33 on 9 February 2011. Despite that the proceedings for the cited mark last several years, after 7 years unremitting endeavor, Zhong Lun successfully maintained the application date of TWE’s BEN FU mark, and finally made the applied mark the earliest valid application for pure Chinese word mark for BEN FU on the goods of wines. This is a landmark case in TWE’s effort to protect to its “奔富/Penfolds” brand in China and to pursue registration for the Chinese mark BEN FU.
The case was handled by Zhong Lun team led by Jimmy Huang, a partner of Intellectual Property Department, and the team members include non-equity partner Hope Yang, senior trademark attorney Ruby Jia, attorney Fred Zhang and Brenda Jin.