Success for New Balance in China trade mark dispute

Posted by Nicola Rochon on
A huge victory in China for New Balance demonstrates the growing support Courts in China are beginning to show towards brand owners.

Sports brand New Balance has recently been successful in its claim against three companies that were producing and/or selling shoes featuring variations of New Balances "N" logo. The Suzhou Intermediate Court in China ordered the companies to pay more than 10 million yuan (around £1.2 million) in damages for the infringement of  New Balance's trade mark. The Court's decision to award such significant damages marks a noteworthy change to China's approach to infringement of intellectual property rights.

The court's firm approach follows on from recent reforms to China's trade mark laws and its general approach to intellectual property rights. These changes have been made in an effort to show China's support to brand owners in enforcing their intellectual property rights in China.

New Balance's success is a promising sign to brands that have sought protection of their intellectual property rights in China, and should encourage other brands to continue taking a pro-active approach to international brand protection.  

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Nicola Rochon is a Trainee Solicitor in our Employment team based in Southampton.

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