Johnson & Johnson trademark revoked in China

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China's top industry and commerce watchdog recently ruled that the trademark "OneTouch" for a line of blood glucose meters and test strips produced by LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company, violates Chinese trademark laws and should be revoked.

Johnson & Johnson's "OneTouch" product. [] 

According to Chinese laws, if Johnson & Johnson doesn't file a lawsuit against the ruling in 30 days, or if a verdict isn't reached within 60 days after the ruling was made, the Trademark Appeal Board of China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce has the right to remove all of the company's OneTouch products from the market.

Public security authorities can also confiscate the company's illegal income from the product line in the past years, said Huang Yunzhong, an attorney from Beijing Peiwen Law Firm.

Huang is also the legal counsel of Guilin Zhonghui Biotechnology Co in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, which has been under criminal investigation since 2007 for allegedly producing counterfeits of Johnson & Johnson's OneTouch blood glucose test strips used by patients with diabetes.

In 2005, Johnson & Johnson recalled its OneTouch glucose meters, because instead of providing a warning, the meter turned itself off when it read a dangerous blood glucose level of 1024 mg/dL or above.

But later in 2006, Johnson & Johnson announced that it found a large amount of counterfeit blood glucose test strips from Zhonghui in China, which caused previous machine failures in its blood glucose meters.

Huang Yunzhong, the attorney, filed the dispute on the "OneTouch" trademark to the Trademark Appeal Board in late 2011, and the board reached the decision to revoke the trademark on Dec 27, 2013.

The recent ruling said "one touch" falls into a category of medical subject headings, so "OneTouch" cannot be trademarked.

Huang believes the ruling would bring about a favorable investigation result for Zhonghui on the accusations the company was making counterfeits.

Johnson & Johnson told China Daily it would comment on the ruling when the company had prepared a response.

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