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After the name of the late famous rock star Michale Jackson was registered as trademark MICHAEL JACKSON by Fujian Fengshang Fashion Company, and was approved by the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the U.S. Victory International Company filed a administrative lawsuit to Beijing IP Court. On November 5, the court heard the case, and delivered a verdict that withdraw the decision made by TRAB.
Duofashion International Group filed a trademark registration of MICHAEL JACKSON on September 7, 2010, and was approved on March 14,2013, certified to be used on Class 25 products. The company aslo filed No.3775967 trademark MICHAEL JACKSON and its figure, but was rejected. On January 13, the trademark MICHAEL JACKSON was certified by the Trademark Office of SAIC, and assigned the trademark rights to Fujian Shangfeng Fashion Company.
The Victory International Company, previously named as MJJ, was established in California in March 1984. In October 1984, it renamed the Victory International Company, and Michael Jackson served as the president of the company. After Michael Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, Victory Company was authorized to prosecute any person or company who infringes the name right of Michael Jackson.
Beijing IP Court does not held the Victory Commpany's claims of name right, domain name right and merchandising right, but held that Fujian Fengshang's registration of MICHAEL JACKSON has ill effect to customers. Although Michael Jackson was dead, his name and image still have considerable economic value. Fujian company's action of using the name and image of Michael Jackson as trademark on its clothes products mislead customers and the public would be harmed as well.
The judge of Beijing IP Court also said in the ruling that TRAB has decided that the trademark in dispute using on Class 25 products could mislead the public. The customers may think that the trademark was authorized by Michael Jackson or may have a certain relation with him. Besides, the trademark violated the rules prescribed under Article 10, Paragraph 1 (8) of Trademark Law 2001, so the registration shall not be approved. The trademark in dispute all contain MICHAEL JACKSON and used in the same products. So ordered.