Beaba, a famous baby products brand, recently filed before the Hangzhou Internet Court a civil action for copyright infringement and unfair competition action against four defendants for their unlawful use of Beaba’s special-designed logo “BEABA” on the latter’s baby diaper products.
In said action, Beaba claims that it has been producing baby feeding and baby food preparation products since its establishment in 1989 in France, and had entered the Chinese market since 2010. Since its establishment, Beaba has originally created and has used the special-designed logo “BEABA” on their baby products, and therefore enjoys the copyright over the same. Meanwhile, Beaba’s special-designed logo “BEABA” and its enterprise name “Beaba” has gained a high degree of popularity and reputation.
Beaba claims that, without their authorization, four Chinese companies have sold baby diaper products bearing the “BEABA” logo.
Given this, Beaba filed an action for copyright infringement and unfair competition before the Hangzhou Internet Court alleging that, the defendants’ unauthorized use of the “BEABA” logo which is identical or highly similar to Beaba’s logo on baby diaper has infringed Beaba’s copyright. Moreover, as Beaba’s enterprise name “Beaba” has gained a high degree of popularity and reputation, such enterprise name should be protected under Article 6 of the Unfair Competition Law, and the defendants’ use of the characters “BEABA” may mislead the public, thereby amounting to unfair competition in accordance with Article 6 of the Unfair Competition Law. Beaba likewise demands that the defendants cease and desist from their infringing activity and to pay RMB 3 million in damages.
The case is currently pending.
[Article 6 of the Unfair Competition Law provides that a business operator shall not perform any of the following confusing acts that will mislead a person into believing that a commodity is that of another person or has a particular connection with another person:
1. unauthorized use of a label identical or similar to the name, packaging or decoration, among others, of another person’s commodity with certain influence;
2.unauthorized use of another person’s name with certain influence, such as the name (including abbreviations and trade names) of an enterprise, the name (including abbreviations) of a social organization, or the name (including pseudonyms, stage names and name translations) of an individual;
3. unauthorized use of the principal part of a domain name, the name of a website, or a web page with certain influence, among others, of another person; or
4. other confusing acts sufficient to mislead a person into believing that a commodity is that of another or has a particular connection with another.
This article was written by our China IPR expert James Luo.