In September 2013, the China Trademark Office (CTMO) recognized that the mark of a worldwide famous social network website enjoys relatively high reputation in China and granted cross-class protection to that website. Beijing East IP Ltd. represented this worldwide famous social network website in the trademark opposition.

The CTMO held as follows: services designated under the opposed mark are “Detective company; Housekeeping service; etc.”; services of “providing Internet chatrooms; etc.” under the cited prior mark owned by the worldwide famous social network website enjoy a relatively high fame; and the opposed mark in Class 45 is identical to the prior cited mark in Class 38. Thus, registration of the opposed mark is likely to cause confusion and misunderstanding among the relevant public and cause detrimental influence, which violated Article 10 (8) of the Chinese Trademark Law. Based on the above, the CTMO supported the argument of opposition raised by the worldwide famous social network website and rejected the registration of the opposed mark.

The CTMO’s decision has actually granted cross-class protection to this worldwide famous social network website by citing Article 10 (8) of the Chinese Trademark Law as the catch-all provision.