The famous American ice cream maker Häagen-Dazs won a first instance decision about trademark infringement against the Chinese trademark“Haager-Dasz” that has tried to “ride the wave of success” created by US well-known ice cream brand.
The controversy among the two trademarks started in 2003 when General Mills Company, the owner of Häagen-Dazs, filed an opposition against the Chinese citizen Yin Xing who applied for registering the trademark “Haager-Dasz” on Class 25 to sell clothes. The Trademark Office did not support the opposition and the decision was upheld by the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB).
The debate continued before the Court which condemned the behavior of the Chinese trademark’s owner. It held that the registration of a similar mark, even in the design of characters, is a clear attempt to take advantage of the reputation and visibility created over the past years by Häagen-Dazs .
Häagen-Dazs gained a good reputation in food among the consumers in China. Both trademarks Häagen-Dazs and "哈根 逹 斯", the use of which was certified respectively in November 1986 and April 1997 on Class 30, had been recognized as well-known trademarks.
Asssuming that Häagen-Dazs may suffer a negative effect, the Court ordered to revoke the Chinese trademark “Haager-Dasz”.
Currently the case is debated before the Beijing Higher People’s Court, after the appeal raised by the TRAB.