Supreme People’s Court suspends Castel damage award
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Supreme People’s Court suspends Castel damage award

The French wine maker, which had been found liable for infringing the mark of a Chinese winemaker, has received a temporary stay of the damage award handed out by the Zhejiang Higher People’s Court

Castel had been ordered to pay RMB33.73 million ($5.5 million) in damages to a wine importer who held the registration to a popular Chinese transliteration of its brand, Ka-Si-Te (卡斯特).

Castel appealed the decision to the Supreme People’s Court. According to Decanter.com, the court granted the stay after it found that the Zhejiang Higher People’s Court applied the law incorrectly.

The Supreme People’s Court’s decision is expected later this year.

Shanghai-based wine importer Panati and its subsidiary Cavesmaitre registered the Ka-Si-Te mark in 1998, which was approved in 2000. Castel started distributing its wine in China in 1999 using the Ka-Si-Te mark. Though it had registered the Latin alphabet “Castel” mark, it did not attempt do so for Ka-Si-Te.

In 2005, Castel initiated cancellation proceedings against Cavesmaitre for the Chinese mark on grounds of non-use. Cavesmaitre then counterclaimed for trade mark infringement, prevailing before the Zhejiang Intermediate People’s Court and then again on appeal to the provincial Higher People’s Court.

For Managing IP’s coverage and analysis of the case, click here.

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