Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Starbuck's wins landmark copyright case in China

The BBC is reporting that after a two-year legal fight, Starbuck’s has won a copyright/intellectual property case against a Chinese competitor using a similar name and logo in 38 coffee shops in the Shanghai area.

Enforcing laws adopted in 2001, a Chinese court found the Chinese company in violation, and ordered it to both stop using the name and logo, and pay damages amounting to about $62,000.00.

Starbucks uses the name Xingbake in China. In Chinese, Xing means star while bake sounds like bucks.

Xingbake [the Chinese competitor – ed.] argued that it had registered its name in 2000, before Starbucks had secured its trademark in China.

However, Starbucks insisted that it had registered its name and logo in 1996 and claimed that the use of the Xingbake name in 38 Shanghai outlets violated its intellectual property rights.
The court concluded that Xingbake's name and logo was similar to Starbucks' and that the US firm was entitled to have the sole right to use its name in both English and Chinese.

Starbuck’s has operated in China since 1999.

China, along with India, has long been notorious for simply looking the other way while indigenous companies blatantly infringe on foreign copyrights and other intellectual property rights, often simply using a virtual duplicate of the foreign name and logo. The international community has complained in vain about copyright piracy and the export of what amount to counterfeit goods deliberately intended to look like the genuine article.

This case represents a landmark enforcement of foreign commercial rights against a local company. China, as it seeks to expand its international economic presence, will likely find itself more and more forced to play by international rules. The likely effect, over time, will be the erosion of Chinese protectionist policies and a lessening of the economic advantage those policies hve afforded Chinese companies.

[originally posted at BabbleFest]

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]