Muji loses trademark appeal to Chinese firm
NHK -- Dec 14
Japanese retailer Ryohin Keikaku has lost its appeal against a Chinese court ruling that found the firm infringed on the right to a trademark owned by a Chinese company.

Tokyo-based Ryohin Keikaku runs the "Mujirushi Ryohin" chain of apparel and household goods stores that stretches around the world.

The company entered the Chinese market in 2005 when it opened its first store in mainland China, in the city of Shanghai.

The company then registered its international brand name "MUJI" in block Roman alphabet letters and a local trademark, "Mujirushi Ryohin", in four Chinese characters which are pronounced "Wuyinliangpin" in Mandarin.

Chinese media say that a local firm had already registered the Wuyinliangpin trademark for some of its woven fabric products, including bed covers and towels, in 2001.

The Chinese firm sued Ryohin Keikaku for breach of the trademark. An intellectual property court in China ruled in the plaintiff's favor in 2017.

In the last few days, Chinese media has been saying China's Supreme People's Court in Beijing has upheld the ruling, ordering Ryohin Keikaku to pay 626,000 yuan, or about 90,000 dollars, to the plaintiff.

The ruling has been finalized as China has a two-trial system for cases involving trademarks. It bans Ryohin Keikaku from using its Mujirushi Ryohin brand name for certain products in China.

Ryohin Keikaku says it has won some of the lawsuits brought by the same Chinese company.

The retailer says it will continue to argue the effectiveness of its trademark in other trials and administrative procedures.

News source: NHK
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