NBA sues appeal board over Lakers trademark ruling

09:18, December 15, 2010      

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NBA Properties Inc, which manages businesses related to the US basketball league, recently filed suit in Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court against the Trademark Appeal Board of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in an ongoing trademark registration dispute.

The NBA says it found a Fujian-based sporting goods company applied to trademark the name Lakers Team and its Chinese translation for use in beer, mineral water and other drinks.

The NBA already owns trademarks in China that use the name Los Angeles Lakers for office supplies, fitness equipment, clothes and leather products.

The US company first disputed the registration in 2006.

The appeal board ruled that evidence presented by NBA Properties is a convincing argument of the Lakers' reputation in basketball circles, but insufficient to prove that the Lakers mark secured its status as a well-known trademark before the Fujian firm's application.

In addition, noting the difference in use and target customer groups, the board said that the trademark in dispute will not lead to confusion or misunderstanding among consumers.

NBA suit asks the court to revoke the board's decision.

Source:China Daily
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