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Lacoste loses its trade mark in China

Case of the Year: Lacoste v Jin Zhongneng

The result

Lacoste’s crocodile mark revoked for non-use

The impact

Bar raised on what counts as use of a trade mark

Trade mark squatters are a major problem for international brand owners in China. Lawyers have consistently advised clients of the need to register early and broadly to protect their mark, but the recent revocation of French clothing brand Lacoste's mark shows that active use and management of a mark is also needed, alongside registration.

Lacoste received protection for its crocodile logo and related marks in 2003 for class 16, which covers various paper goods. In 2007, Jin Zhongneng filed for revocation of the mark in class 16 due to three consecutive years of non-use. The Trademark Office revoked the mark in 2009. The Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) reversed, finding that there was evidence of use.

On Jin's appeal to the Beijing...

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