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French firm's registry of 'Oxford' brand denied
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A Beijing court has rejected a French company's lawsuit against the State Administration for Industry and Commerce for not passing its application to register an "Oxford" brand, according to a court statement on Tuesday.

Holdham, a French-registered company, sued the brand-assessment panel of the State Administration Industry and Commerce after the panel overruled its application to register the word "Oxford" and a brand with the image of a lion and a shield in China in May 2005.

Holdham registered the word and the image in France in May 2002. It applied for registration on electric notepad and stationary in China in April 2003.

The Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court ruled that "Oxford" means the city of Oxford in Britain to most of the Chinese public. It could mislead consumers to think the products were made in Oxford, which violated Chinese brand law.

Holdham upheld Oxford had became well-known because of Oxford University, not the city of Oxford. The brand had been registered and recognized in several other countries.

(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2008)

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