24 Jun Chinese Court Orders US Footwear Firm New Balance to Pay Fine Over Trademark Breach
A Chinese appeal court has ruled against US sportswear firm New Balance for trademark infringements and ordered it to pay five million yuan (HK$5.9 million) in compensation to a Chinese company, an amount far lower than previously ruled.
The court in Guangdong upheld an earlier ruling against the US sports shoe maker’s use of a Chinese language trademark, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported late on Thursday, but reduced the damages from a previously ruled 98 million yuan.
China has seen a recent spate of disputes over trademarks and intellectual property, with iPhone maker Apple Inc, entertainment firm Walt Disney Co and carmaker Jaguar Land Rover all drawn into court cases.
New Balance spokeswoman Amy Dow said the firm was disappointed by the ruling and was considering taking the appeal process further.
“This ruling is particularly concerning as it is contrary to the rest of the developed world’s understanding of intellectual property,” Dow said in emailed comments on Friday.
She added that the ruling could set a “poor precedent”.