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30.11.2010 09:47

Apple Computer Inc. Succeeded in Trademark Oppositions in Taiwan

By: Eunice Yang , A & Finet

A Taiwanese company, Heshun Clothing Company, has applied the mark “GREEN APPLE” for goods such as clothing, shoes as well as import and exporting service, and online shopping service which the applications were opposed by Apple Computer Inc. during the opposition period. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) has ruled the Oppositions in favor of Heshun Clothing Company and Apple Computer Inc. decided to file an Administrative Lawsuit against the said Decision issued. On June 24, 2010, the Intellectual Property Court (IP Court) issued a Decision in favor of Apple Computer Inc. The IP Court’s Decision can be appealed.

The TIPO views that Heshun Clothing Company’s mark “GREEN APPLE” and Apple Computer Inc.’s mark “APPLE CENTER” will not cause a likelihood of confusion in market as “apple” is a fruit’s name commonly used; consequently, the two marks are not similar.

Apple Computer Inc. accused the TIPO for unlawfully granted Heshun Clothing Company the mark “GREEN APPLE”. Apple Computer Inc. pointed out that the portion of the mark “GREEN” lacks distinctiveness; hence, Heshun Clothing Company Inc.’s use of the word “APPLE” has taken advantage of Apple Computer Company Inc.’s company name in regards to its publicity to the general consumers. This unfair use of the mark will dilute the distinctiveness of Apple Company Inc.’s famous mark and company’s reputation.

The IP Court has accepted Apple Computer Inc.’s argument and decided to cancel the original Decision of the Opposition and the Appeal issued in favor of Heshun Clothing Company and ordered the TIPO to rule against Heshun Clothing Company’s mark in accordance to the interpretation of the laws in the IP Court’s verdict.

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