Two major Bordeaux wine companies - Barriere Freres and Chateau Ausone have just won their cases against trademark squatters in China. The Chinese Trademark Office (CTO) has taken two important back-to-back decisions in favour of these wine trademark owners. Below are the cases brief.

  • Barriere Freres was the holder of the trademark – GRAND BATEAU and ship device, under class 33, the CTO, which checks prior legal rights before accepting a registration, had accepted the application of a similar ship logo, also falling under class 33. Barriere Freres reacted by filing an opposition, and their argument on the risk of confusion between the two trademarks was upheld by the Chinese examiners. The fraudulent trademark was therefore rejected.
  • Chateau Ausone won their case for cancellation action against the application for the Chinese ideogram trademark 􀀀􀀀􀀀, which translates into “AUSONE” in French, although it did not hold prior legal rights on these ideograms. Both the trademark’s prior use in China as well as its popularity led the CTO to conclude that the Chinese applicant (known among Bordeaux wine owners as “Mr. Xie, the trademark squatter”) had acted in bad faith.