Release time:2023-10-16 source:the IP Finance and Baidu News

Recently, China’s Supreme Court has ruled in the case of trademark infringement and unfair competition dispute between the appellant the Ningbo Qishuai Electric Co., Ltd. (Qishuai) and the appellees Siemens AG (Siemens) and Siemens (China) Co., Ltd. (Siemens China), with the appeal dismissed and the original first-instance ruling upheld.


The first-instance ruling in the case ordered Qishuai to immediately cease and desist from the infringement on the exclusive right to use the trademark involved in the case and unfair competition, that is, Qishuai was to stop using the name "Shanghai Siemens Electric Appliances Co., Ltd." on the washing machines it made and marketed, product packaging, product brochures, contract documents, and website pages; Qishuai and others pay Siemens and Siemens China CNY 100 million in compensation of their damages and CNY 163,000 for their reasonable expenses.


In 2012, Qishuai obtained the right in the registered SIMBMC trademark, with approval to use the same in respect of goods, such as washing machines and other electrical appliances. As was shown, the trademark examiner did not determine that SIMBMC was similar to the widely known Siemens’ SIEMENS trademark. However, in the process of marketing and product promotion, Qishuai not only used the SIMBMC trademark, but also used the words of "Shanghai Siemens Electric Co., Ltd.", which was claimed by Qishuai as its corporate name registered in Hong Kong, an act which had made many consumers mistakenly think that "SIMBMC and Siemens are one and the same". In addition, Qishuai also claimed that "German Siemens only makes drum machines, and Shanghai-based Siemens specializes in wave turbines", which further increased the price and sales of SIMBMC wave washing machines.


In 2017, Siemens China and Siemens filed a lawsuit against Qishuai on the grounds of trademark infringement and unfair competition. Upon hearing the case, the court found that the first two letters and the first syllable of SIMBMC and SIEMENS were the same, and when consumers saw SIMBMC used together with the name "Shanghai Siemens Electric Co., Ltd.", it was easy for them to mistakenly believe that SIMBMC was a trademark of Siemens, thus causing damage to Siemens' trademark rights, constituting trademark infringement, and held Qishuai liable to pay Siemens and Siemens China CNY 100 million in compensation of their damages and CNY 163,000 for their reasonable expenses.


In 2018, Qishuai stopped selling SIMBMC wave washing machines nationwide, and destroyed all booth light boxes and materials related to SIMBMC, but filed an appeal out of dissatisfaction with the damages of CNY 100 million awarded by the court.


In July 2023, the Supreme Court ruled to have dismissed the appeal and upheld the original ruling. Qishuai and others were still required to pay Siemens CNY 100 million for the damages, and CNY 16,3000 for the reasonable expenses.

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