In March 2013, Beijing no.1 Intermediate People’s Court approved the registration of the trademark “麦肯基MCConkey” filed by Guangzhou McConkey Food Company. McDonald’s corporation claim was then rejected by the Court, upholding the previous decision made by TRAB claiming that the opposed mark doesn’t constitute similarity with trademarks 麦当劳and McDonald's, owned by McDonald’s Corporation.
In 2003, the Guangzhou-based company applied for registration of trademark 麦肯基MCConKEY to the China Trademark Office (CTMO) in class 43 therefore to be used in restaurants, fast food restaurants, etc. During the publication period, in 2007, McDonald's Corporation opposed the trademark registration appealing to the principle of similarity. The CTMO rejected the opposition and McDonald’s Corporation appealed to the TRAB in 2010 highlighting that trademark McDonald’s can be recognized as well-known brand in China and abroad and that McConkey registered the trademark not only copying their registered trademark but also in the same class. According to the principle of good faith, the trademark McConkey should then have been rejected.
TRAB considered that McDonald’s Corporation evidences were not sufficient to prove that the trademarks McDonald's and麦当劳are well-known trademarks before the filing of trademark 麦肯基 MCConKEY. It also considered different the two trademarks in design, pronunciation, overall appearance and consumers cannot mislead the two trademarks.
McDonald's Corporation then brought the McConkey Food Company and TRAB to the court questioning again that the trademark was copying their registered trademarks and that the qualification of the representative of the Guangzhou based company were questionable in tthe catering business. The court upheld TRAB’s decision appealing to Art. 28 of the Trademark Law, it confirmed that the key for the case is the similarity or not of the two trademarks.
(Source: China IP News)