Puma fined in China for local logo infringement
A Shanghai court has ordered German sportswear company Puma to pay 2.9 million yuan ($421,340) for infringing the goat's head logo of a Chinese wool producing company.
According to the Shanghai Daily, the court ruled Puma copied the image created especially for the Year of Goat in 2015 and used it on shoes and hooded sweatshirts.
The court said a 90-year-old local brand Hengyuanxiang registered the logo, adapted from a form of ancient Chinese hieroglyphic characters, in March 2014. The only difference between the two companies’ logos was the size, it concluded.
Puma denied the accusations, saying it had just used the hieroglyphic character, which could be used by anyone.
The court, however, insisted Puma clearly copied the logo from Hengyuanxiang products and misled customers to think Puma’s Goat year series was connected to the Chinese brand.
The sportswear giant earned nearly 6 million yuan from its Goat year series, according to the investigation which found the sales were not a result of Hengyuanxiang's reputation. Puma was ordered to pay about the half revenue as compensation.
Similar cases involving trademarks appear in China regularly. In December, a Chinese court ruled for US basketball legend Michael Jordan. It ordered local sportswear company Qiaodan to stop using the Chinese characters that make up the name Jordan.