After its application to register a trademark was turned down by China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Daimler-Benz has brought a case against SAIC to the Beijing No. 1 Lower People's Court.
Daimler claims that eight months before the establishment of a JV — Beijing Benz Daimler Chrysler — which was set up on August 8, 2005, Daimler submitted an application to SAIC to register the trademark of Beijing Benz. The company's application was turned down by SAIC in May 2007, and, though it later filed another application for a review, it was once again given a refusal.
A representative of SAIC's team of experts said that the reason they turned down Daimler's request is that Beijing Benz can not be used as a trademark as it violates the relevant rules in China. What's more, Daimler can't use this abbreviation of its name as a trademark since this would misguide consumers about the origin of the products. The person further explained that according to Chinese trademark law, the name of a region above county level must not be used as trademark. Since Beijing is the capital of China, it can not be used as part of a trademark.
However, Daimler believes that Beijing is used in the name to indicate the production place of the products, so it won't misguide the consumers.
So far, no ruling has been made on the case.