Since Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) maintained the rejection for lacking distinctiveness against American Dream Limited Company’s trademark registration application for Chinese word “席梦思” (i.e. “SIMMONS” in Chinese) plus “SIMMONS” on mattresses on beds and the like, Dream Company appealed the decision of TRAB to Beijing IP Court. Recently, the Beijing IP Court made its judgement and maintained the decision of TRAB.
Although Dream company claimed that the trademark came from the surname of the company founder and the company’s well-known brand “SIMMONS”, as well as the corresponding Chinese transliteration of “SIMMONS”, and that the Chinese word “席梦思” does not appear in any national standards or industry standards, the IP Court determined the trademark is generic.
The IP Court held, the trademark is consisted of the Chinese word “席梦思”and the English word “SIMMONS”, and the Chinese word “席梦思” is the main identifier of the whole trademark. When used on mattresses and other related goods, it could be easily understood as being directed to the mattresses by the relevant public, instead of as a source identifier. The trademark therefore can not distinguish the origin of goods.