England's Premier League has won a trademark dispute in a
Chinese court, giving it exclusive use in the country of its
Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court upheld an earlier
ruling that the Xiangshi Celebration Service Company, located in
the booming eastern province of Jiangsu _ must stop using a similar
lion-image trademark, court spokesman Wang Wenbo said Thursday.
The dispute began in 1999 when the Chinese company registered
its trademark _ nearly identical to the Premier League version, but
minus a soccer ball in the lower left corner of the logo.
The Premier League's attempt to register its logo in 2000 was
initially rejected, but it won an appeal in 2001. Xiangshi
subsequently sued the Premier League and China's Trademark Review
and Appraisal Board.
Su Xiaoman, lawyer for the Premier League, welcomed the verdict
and praised the Chinese government for cracking down on trademark
"The Chinese government has done much to protect the IPR
(intellectual property rights) of foreign firms operating in the
country in recent years," Su told the state-run China Daily
The case is seen as a test of China willingness to protect
patents, copyrights and trademarks.
(China Daily via AP December 28, 2006)