Knock-Off Doraemon Trademark Ruled Invalid in China

In Japan there is a popular manga series that was later adapted into an anime series about a robotic cat named Doraemon who travels back from the twenty-second century to help a young boy using gadgets he produces from a special pocket.

Doraemon is also popular in China, and recently a sports goods company in Fujian province of southeastern China filed a trademark application which included a very similar looking character and used the name “machine cat” in 2015. The trademark application was initially granted but later was later invalidated by SIPO. The company appealed the case to the Chinese Intellectual Property Court. The court held that the trademark infringed on the rights of the Shanghai company that had the rights to use the trademarks for Doraemon.

Recently in response to requests from Japan, the United States, and other countries, China has been trying to crackdown on counterfeit products.

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