Facebook 2016 Update: Firm Wins Trademark Battle Against 'Face Book' Food & Beverages In China [VIDEO]
Just a week after Apple lost a trademark battle in a Chinese court against a company making "IPHONE" wallets and handbags, Facebook won a court ruling against a local firm which was attempting to register "face book" as a trademark for a line of food and beverages.
In a ruling released on April 28, the Chinese court determined that the Zhujiang Beverage company, which registered the "face book" trademark for its canned vegetables, potato chips, coffee, tea, candy and juices, "violated moral principles with obvious intention to duplicate and copy from another high-profile trademark."
Despite the stern court ruling and Facebook's direct attempt to stop the local firm from pursuing the trademark, Zhujiang Beverage did not give up the battle easily. In a series of appeals to the Chinese court, the local firm asserted that the words "face book," which translates to the Chinese phrase "lian shu," has been a popular term in China even before the advent of the social media giant's worldwide popularity. Liu Hongqun, marketing manager of Zhujiang Beverage, defended the company's efforts.
"Lian shu is something very Chinese. We have lian shu in traditional operas," he said, referring to traditional masks worn in traditional Chinese theater.
"How many Chinese customers get access to or sign up for Facebook in mainland China? Where can we get access to this product in mainland China?" Liu added.
Unfortunately for Zhujiang Beverage, the Chinese court did not agree with the firm's sentiments. After all, filing for the trademark at the height of the social media giant's power and influence is indeed quite suspicious.
The Chinese court's decision on the Facebook case is a rare victory for a western company, especially since the social media giant is one of the most prominent networks that remain banned in the Asian nation to this day. Regardless of the nationwide ban on the network, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been courting China for some time now.
In fact, Chinese netizens are even speculating that Zuckerberg's overt support for China helped the social media giant win the case against a company which, traditionally, would have won the trademark battle.
For now, at least, Facebook remains as a forbidden social media network in China. Nothing else.