Siemens, a German multinational conglomerate company, is one of
the world's most prominent makers of medical diagnostics
equipment, including CT, MR, DR, PET/CT scanners and systems.
Siemens Ltd. China, which was established in China, is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Siemens.
In November 2013, Siemens Ltd. China discovered that a company
had registered with the Chinese Trademark Office trademarks such as
Cloud CT, Cloud PET/CT, Cloud MR, Cloud DR, Cloud MI and their
equivalent in Chinese characters for goods including medical
diagnostic and imaging equipment and instruments. It appeared that
the registration of the said trademarks could have prevented
Siemens and other competitors in the same industry from using these
names in China.
Siemens Ltd. China therefore, filed an invalidation proceedings
action against the registrations with the Trademark Review and
Adjudication Board (TRAB).
It was found that in the industrial healthcare sector,
particularly in the diagnostic and imaging sector, the initials in
the registered trademarks are generic terms for:
In addition, the word "Cloud" has in recent years
become a synonym for "cloud computing", a technical term
that is used in almost every sector of industry. According to
Article 11 of the Chinese Trademark Law, the following signs shall
not be registered as trademarks:
1. those only comprising generic names, designs or models of the
goods in respect of which the trademarks are used;
2. those having direct reference to the quality, main raw
materials, function, use, weight, quantity or other features of the
goods in respect of which the trademarks are used; and
3. those lacking distinctive features other than the
The argument was that the subject trademarks at issue are either
generic names or directly descriptive, and thus these trademarks
At the end of 2014, TRAB issued 7 decisions respectively, all in
favour of Siemens Ltd. China, declaring the respective
registrations to be invalid.
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