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Burberry loses check pattern mark in China



Peter Leung, Hong Kong


The China Trade Mark Office (CTMO) has cancelled Burberry’s trade mark on its signature tartan pattern the mark on non-use grounds

Burberry's Haymarket pattern

A Guangdong-based leather goods manufacturer Polo Santa Roberta (路必达马球皮具制品公司) filed the cancellation action, arguing that Burberry had not used its trade mark tartan pattern for three years. The CTMO sided with Polo Santa Roberta, which has been in disputes with Burberry in other jurisdictions around Asia, including Hong Kong and Taiwan. 

After the CTMO made its decision, Polo Santa Roberta held a press conference announcing the result and demanding Rmb 500 million ($82 million) in compensation based on loss of various business opportunities due to Burberry's enforcement. It also noted Burberry's continued legal actions against Polo Santa Roberta in Taiwan, and that courts there ruled in favour of Polo Santa Roberta in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009.

Burberry has filed an appeal with the Trademark Review and Appellate Board. In a statement, it stressed that the rights to the mark remain with the company while the matter is pending, and that the cancellation applies only to leather goods (class 18).


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