24 August 2017Trademarks

New Balance wins ‘precedent-setting’ payout in China trademark dispute

Footwear manufacturer New Balance has won a significant trademark payout in China, after a court awarded the US company more than RMB 10 million ($1.5 million) in damages.

The court upheld all claims from New Balance and ordered a group of sellers to pay the sum for using the shoe maker’s signature slanting logo.

Lusheng, the law firm that represented New Balance, said in a statement that a decision of this nature is “precedent-setting and will have a significant and positive impact on how foreign brand owners protect their IP in China”.

Angela Shi, brand protection manager at New Balance, said the ruling gives New Balance confidence to continue its growth and investment in China.

“Foreign brand owners like us are facing increasingly aggressive lookalike infringements in China on a scale we don’t see in other major markets,” she explained.

“The winning of this case has given us confidence to continue our proactive brand protection strategy in China.”

As reported by WIPR in December last year, US basketball star Michael Jordan emerged victorious in a trademark dispute heard by the Supreme People’s Court of China.

The court ordered Chinese sportswear company Qiaodan Sports to stop using the characters for Jordan’s name.

However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for New Balance and its trademarks in China.

China Daily reported that the company’s Chinese subsidiary was ordered to pay RMB 98 million to a business man it had accused of trademark infringement relating to a ‘New Balance’ trademark.

Zhou Lelun had been running a company called ‘Xinbailun’, the transliteration of New Balance, before New Balance began operating in China.

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10 October 2018   British menswear brand Alfred Dunhill has secured a victory in China after a court awarded the company RMB10 million in a trademark infringement case.
9 February 2021   American sportswear company New Balance has won a significant case against one of China’s most notorious copycat brands.