Court rules against Shaolin Temple in trademark suit

16:15, April 28, 2010      

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The Intermediate People's Court of Beijing ruled that the China Songshan Shaolin Temple cannot use the "Shaolin Medicine" trademark for its products such as instant noodles on April 26, 2010.

Earlier, the Trademark Appeal Board under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) rejected the Shaolin Temple’s application for the "Shaolin Medicine" trademark for its products, including instant noodles and coffee, because the trademark is liable to mislead consumers to believe that such products have pharmaceutical effects. Afterwards, the Shaolin Temple filed a lawsuit against the trademark organ to the court.

In August 2004, the Shaolin Temple forwarded a trademark application to the Trademark Office under SAIC, seeking to register the "Shaolin Medicine" trademark for its franchised products such as instant noodles, coffee, take-out foods and tea. In September 2006, the trademark office rejected the application because the trademark would tend to mislead consumers if it were to be used on such products.

The Shaolin Temple did not accept the decision and filed a review application to the Trademark Appeal Board. The Shaolin Temple believes that the trademark it applied for has unique designs, so it is unlikely to mislead consumers into believing that the products have pharmaceutical effects.

However, the board said that the Shaolin Pharmacy under the English name of "Shaolin Medicine" once had over 100 secret prescriptions and offered diagnosis and treatment services to Shaolin Temple monks and ordinary people nearby, although it occasionally terminated its operations because of wars or turmoil. The "Shaolin Medicine" trademark is liable to cause consumers to consider it as a place where medicinal products or medical services are offered instead of as other types of trademarks, the board said.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:王千原雪)

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