Nokia opposed a trademark application to register
"VERTU" under Appn. No. 3084613 which covered
"spectacles [optics]; eyeglass cases, etc." in Class 9
filed by an individual. Both the China Trademark Office
("CTMO") and Trademark Review and
Adjudication Board ("TRAB") denied the
opposition. Nokia appealed before the Beijing First Intermediate
People's Court asserting that:
Since Nokia is a world-famous mobile phone manufacturer,
"VERTU" is the first luxury brand for mobile phones and
has a reputation among the consumers;
Nokia has secured the registration for "VERTU"
covering "calculators" in Class 9; and
The third party applied for the "VERTU" mark for
"spectacles" in Class 9 in bad faith. It would easily
cause confusion in the public and damage the interests of
The TRAB argued that Nokia had no evidence to prove that its
"VERTU" mobile phone had acquired a relatively high
recognition in China before the filing of the opposed mark on
January 30, 2002.
The Court, after hearing, held that, according to article 11 of
the Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application
of Laws in Trying Civil Cases Related to Trademark Disputes,
similar goods refers to the goods that are identical with respect
to their function, usage, industry, sales channels and target
consumers; or goods that are likely to lead the relevant public
into thinking they are related to each other and cause confusion.
When judging whether goods or services are similar, the
People's Court shall make its judgment based on the average
knowledge of the public pertaining to the goods or services. In
this case, the opposed mark is being used on designated goods which
are different in industry, manufacturing technique, function,
usage, and sales channels, from the goods in respect of which the
cited mark is used. Nor does the use of the opposed mark lead the
relevant public to believe that such goods are related to the goods
on which the cited mark is used or cause confusion. Thus, the goods
in respect of which the opposed mark is used do not constitute
similar goods as prescribed by law. Nokia had no factual or legal
grounds to prove that the aforesaid goods are similar with each
other. Therefore the court holds, given the similarity between the
opposed mark and the cited marks, the opposed mark does not
constitute similar mark with the cited mark because it is used on
different designated goods. The Beijing First Intermediate
People's Court thus ruled against Nokia and sustained the
After the court delivering the judgment, neither party appealed.
The judgment has now come into effect.
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