Trademark law in China leads to name change of Château Listran

Tuesday, 01. October 2013 | 07:30 Uhr | RED.YOOPRESS | WINE LAW & ORDER
Reference: DECANTER | Translator: E.RENZIEHAUSEN
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Foreign brand owners more likely to change their name when an expensive lawsuit against Chinese dishes to make. (© Château Listran)

FRANCE (Bordeaux) – Château Listran (northern part of the Médoc region) became a victim of emerging problems with the trademark law in China. Now, the 28 hectare Cru Bourgeois estate owned by a Chinese has changed its name into Château L’Estran because “Listran” had been registered beforehand by another party in China.

“These and other problems with trademark law are usual in China”, Céline Baillet, a Bordeaux lawyer specialized on international trademark law, explains. “In China, the person who registered is right, no matter if a trademark already exists abroad and is known on international markets. So, more and more foreign trademarks are prevented from being sold in China. Then, the original trademark owner is required to take over the rights because otherwise he has no choice but to change his name.”

And indeed, trademark owners prefer changing its name instead of coping with an expensive lawsuit in front of Chinese courts because this can in fact dwindle into a financial disaster. Otherwise, the rights can be rebought to bear the name in China but as a rule, this costs between 8,000 and 30,000 euro, and for internationally known names even far more. In contrast, the registration of a trademark in China costs as few as 1,000 euro. Now, the owner of Château L’Estran has registered the new name.

Signs for the Chinese authorities to give in are rather seldom. In May, Château Ausone achieved to cancel its name blocked by a Chinese. Castel Frères, in contrast, has been litigating during four years in front of Chinese courts in order to keep the rights over its own “Kasite” trademark, which a Chinese importer has secured for himself, for the Chinese market. The “Kasite” trademark remains at the importer, and Castel Frères has to reflect about a new variation of its name. (Please read our detailed report: "Kasite trademark sours for French vintner Castel") . (red.yoopress)

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