In New Balance's case, the United States firm faces challenges from New Boom, New Barlun, and New Bunren, all of which are protected under China's trademark law.
A Chinese court has ordered three domestic shoemakers to pay more than 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) to New Balance in damages for infringing the U.S. sportswear company's signature slanting logo.
In the decision, the Suzhou Intermediate People's Court ruled that three defendants that made shoes under the brand New Boom "seized market share from New Balance" and "drastically damaged the business reputation of New Balance". Earlier this month, another United States company - underwear producer Under Armour - won $300,000 in damages from Chinese company Uncle Martian in a similar case. The ruling comes as the U.S. pressures Beijing to take more action on suspected intellectual property theft by Chinese companies, though administration officials have complained more about enforced technology transfer arrangements than trademark infringements. The latest verdict comes just days after US President Donald Trump ordered an inquiry into China's alleged IP violations and counterfeiting activities.
Recent legislation introduced higher thresholds for statutory damages, punitive damages for repeat offenders and four new courts dedicated to intellectual property.
These cases and others emphasise the need for brand owners to identify and register a Chinese version of their brands to ensure they are protected against trade mark appropriation.
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