A meat burger association apologized after China’s intellectual property watchdog rejected its claims of infringement of trademark rights
Published: Nov 26, 2021 11:58 AM
photo: web

Photo: web


A meat burger association in North China's Shaanxi Province apologized on Friday for causing problems for the industry after China's intellectual property watchdog on Thursday rejected its claims of infringement of trademark rights. Experts said the abuse of intellectual property rights will hinder normal market order. 

Xiaoyaozhen spicy soup association in central China's Henan Province and Tongguan meat burger association in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province filed law suits over trademark infringement by street vendors who used the names "Xiaoyaozhen" and "Tongguan" in their names.

The two associations have demanded the vendors to pay a membership fee every year or pay compensation.

Since October, Tongguan meat burger association has filed law suits against local vendors carrying the name of "Tongguan meat burger".

If vendors wanted to continue using the trademark of "Tongguan meat burger" they would need to pay 99,800 yuan ($15,618) or a membership fees to become a member of the association, according to media reports.

China National Intellectual Property Administration said the two associations have no right to impose franchise fees on street venders for using the name in their brand name.

The registrant of Xiaoyaozhen cannot charge a so-called membership fee as it is registered as an ordinary trademark, according to the China National Intellectual Property Administration.

Tongguan meat burger is a geographical indication registered as a collective trademark, and its registrant has no right to license the collective trademark to merchants and charge franchise fees, it said.

According to information from the China National Intellectual Property Administration, Tongguan meat burger association applied to register the "Tongguan meat burger" trademark in April 2014 as a collective trademark.

The China National Intellectual Property Administration has instructed local departments to handle trademark disputes according to law and protect intellectual property rights according to law, while also preventing abuse of intellectual property rights.

According to company online data platform qichacha, currently there are 22,300 registered meat burger enterprises in China, and 2,445 registered in the first 10 months this year, a year-on-year increase of 19.75 percent.

The abuse of intellectual property rights could undermine the normal order of the market and add difficulties to the operation of small business, the basic engine to power China's domestic consumption, experts said.

It is hoped such associations will standardize industry standards and support enterprises in the industry to better expand local industries, they said.

Global Times