Led by a Trustiics registered counsel, UK-based BICKIEPEGS scored crucial victories against trademark squatters
BICKIEPEGS is a reputed teething brand that is extremely popular among Chinese consumers. Recently, a Chinese individual set up a company in New Zealand and filed two trademark applications for BICKIEPEGS in respect of infant food, biscuits, etc. in Classes 5 and 30 under the disguise of the New Zealand entity. Due to lack of extensive use and promotion evidences in China, the CNIPA adjudicated that the two registrations shall not harm any prior rights of BICKIEPEGS Limited and allowed the individual to maintain their registrations. BICKIEPEGS was unsatisfied with this decision and filed lawsuits with Beijing IP Court.
In addition to exploring more evidence on the reputation of BICKIEPEGS in China, Mr. Hong Zheng, senior attorney at law with Tee & Howe, emphasized the bad faith aspects of the registrations during the lawsuits. Mr. Zheng then argued that the registrant concealed and changed their identity several times to avoid services of court documents, had no actual business operation in New Zealand, and filed multiple applications stretching over a variety industries under different classes, all of which strongly demonstrated bad faith and lack of “real intention of use” on the part of the registrant. The panel fully adopted Mr. Zheng’s arguments holding that the bad faith registrations had eroded China’s trademark registration mechanism and undermined the public interests. With that, Beijing IP Court ruled to cancel the CNIPA decisions and order the review board to re-issue decisions.
The favorable judgments will be of vital importance for BICKIEPEGS, removing the obstacles for its embark on the Chinese market. Meanwhile, the judgments in favor of the true owner also suggest that the Chinese government is stepping up its efforts to combat bad faith applications.