China: Heineken Triumphs in Trademark Dispute

Heineken Brouwerijen B.V. emerged victorious in a trademark dispute in China related to the trademark application for the Chinese characters "He Ni Ken" the Beijing Intellectual Property Court invalidated a decision by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), the primary intellectual property regulator of the People's Republic of China, and directed them to issue a new decision.

Evidence presented by Heineken suggested that the Chinese characters "He Ni Ken" phonetically translate to the English word "Heineken." Considering that Heineken had gained a certain level of fame for beer-related goods before the registration date of "He Ni Ken," and both companies operated in the same industry, the registration of "He Ni Ken" seemed intentional. Consequently, the simultaneous presence of both marks in the market could easily result in confusion and misidentification among relevant consumers. Therefore, "Heineken" and "He Ni Ken" were deemed identical marks used on identical or similar goods.

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