WeiChai Power Co. Ltd. ("WeiChai Co. Ltd.") has been
using "WeiChai" as their well-known company name and
trademark. WeiChai Co. Ltd. filed a complaint at the Domain Name
Dispute Resolution Center against SHENZHEN PANGU INVESTMENT
GUARANTEE CO. LTD. (later changes its name to GUO ZHONG CO. LTD.)
for their registered "weichai.cn." domain name. On 30
January 2011, the Domain Name Dispute Resolution Center ruled that
the domain name should be transferred to WeiChai Co. Ltd.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, GUO ZHONG CO. LTD. initiated a civil
action before the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court,
claiming that: 1. The disputed domain name should not be
transferred to WeiChai Co. Ltd. in respect of its registration and
use; 2. WeiChai Co. Ltd. should compensate for their losses of RMB
100, 000. The Court of First Instance held that GUO ZHONG CO.
LTD.'s simply registering the domain name but not actually
using it has not related such domain name to any products and
services. As a result, this eliminates the possibility of trademark
infringement by using the domain name as the mark of origin on the
Internet for providing products and services. GUO ZHONG CO. LTD.
registering the disputed domain name has not infringed upon WeiChai
Co. Ltd.'s rights to use its registered trademark and or
WeiChai Co. Ltd.'s rights to use the trademark as its company
name. All in all, the act of registering the disputed domain name
has not resulted in unauthorized use of WeiChai Co. Ltd.'s
company name. Nonetheless, GUO ZHONG CO. LTD. should have known the
rights enjoyed by WeiChai Co. Ltd. over its well-known trademark
and company name "Weichai", and yet it still used the
same wordings to register as its domain name. In the meantime, it
has not yet actually used such domain name or got prepared to do
so. It is for sure that WeiChai Co. Ltd. enjoys the right to use
"WeiChai" as their trademark and company name, and such
rights do not necessarily extend to the right over
"WeiChai" as a domain name; however, it is commonly known
that domain names, trademarks and company names can all be used to
indicate the source of goods or services and WeiChai Co.
Ltd. has a closer connection to the disputed domain name and more
obvious interest of registering a domain name which is the same as
its trademark or its company name for identification. GUO
ZHONG CO. LTD.'s improper registration of the disputed domain
name has in fact prevented WeiChai Co. Ltd. from registering the
same, and consequently caused damage to WeiChai Co. Ltd.
To conclude, GUO ZHONG CO. LTD.'s registration of the
disputed domain name has violated the good faith principle and
business ethics. Such act has damaged WeiChai Co. Ltd.'s
legitimate rights and interests and violated Article 2 of the
Anti-Unfair Competition Law of the People's Republic of China,
which provides the meaning of "unfair competition". In
view of this, Beijing First Intermediate People's Court
dismissed GUO ZHONG CO. LTD.'s claim. WeiChai Co. Ltd. was not
satisfied with the First Instance judgment, claiming that GUO ZHONG
CO. LTD.'s registration of the disputed domain name has
infringed upon its right over "Weichai" as trademark and
company name and hence sought to appeal. However, the Court of
Second Instance also holds that GUO ZHONG CO., LTD did not actually
use the domain name in business and the registration of the domain
name alone would not cause confusion to the public, thus GUO ZHONG
CO., LTD's registration of the disputed domain name should not
constitute infringement to WeiChai Co. Ltd's rights over its
trademark and trade name. In view of this, the Court of Second
Instance, i.e. Beijing High People's Court sustained the
judgment of First Instance and dismissed the appeal.
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