Four famous brands, including a top Italian fashion house and a French electrical appliance manufacturer, have won compensation for infringed intellectual property rights after a court ruled against several domestic manufacturers.
No. 2 Intermediate People's Court announced verdicts in the cases yesterday and ordered compensation ranging from 200,000 to 500,000 yuan (US$28,600-71,500).
In the first case, the Shanghai Meng Jiao Company was accused of using the Chinese and English trademarks and the flower logo of the French brand Montagut.
The company name, Meng Jiao, is similar to the Chinese characters for Montagut.
Bonneterie Cevenole S.A.R.L., owner of the Montagut brand, said the local company had used the clothing company's trademarks and logo on its Website, promotional brochures and in its chain stores.
The court ordered the local company to stop using the trademarks and logo and pay 500,000 yuan in compensation to the French company.
It noticed the infringements in late 2005 and filed a lawsuit soon after.
In another case, workers with Holland's Royal Philips Co bought two razors from a local store in June 2006 and sent them for investigation.
The government technology department later testified that the products were using a design which had been patented by Royal Philips.
The patent owner sued both the Chinese manufacturer and the store owner.
Philips won the case, with Ridian Co ordered to pay 200,000 yuan in compensation as well as to cease making the products.
Investigators from Italy's Gucci company found a Shanghai Century Lianhua Supermarket Hongkou Co was selling notebooks carrying its "GG" logo on the cover last August.
Gucci sued two producers of the notebooks as well as the supermarket.
The court ruled that Shanghai Mailun Stationery Co and Jiangsu Lixin Paper Products Co should pay 360,000 yuan to Gucci for the trademark violation while the supermarket operator was ordered to pay 40,000 yuan in compensation.
In the fourth case, the Shanghai Merlin Gerin Company was ordered to change its name.
"Merlin Gerin" was a registered trademark owned by Tianjin Merlin Gerin Co Ltd, the court heard.
French Schneider Electric (China) Investment Co Ltd, a co-investor of the Tianjin Co, was also a plaintiff in the case.
The court ruled that the local company should pay 500,000 yuan to Tianjin Merlin Gerin and stop using the words "Merlin Gerin" in all its business-related operations.
The court also ordered it to change the name of the company.