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Intellectual Property and Commercial Court


2011 Xing Shang Su Zi No. 124

Decision No. 2011 Xing Shang Su Zi No. 124
Date January 5, 2012
Decision Highlight

“Generic term” provided in Article 23, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 3 of the Trademark Act means a term widely used among businesses in the same industry. It can only be associated with some kind of product or service but not with the provider of such product or service. “Generic term” includes short titles, abbreviations, and popular names. For relevant consumers, a generic term is only used by general businesses to represent or indicate a product or service itself, and it is lack of the identification of the source. Thus, a generic term for a particular product which causes relevant consumers not to be able to identify the source is deemed not to be registered as a trademark. The parties of this case dispute about whether “jia ma” is a Chinese translation for businesses manufacturing or selling “GABA.” If “jia ma” means businesses that manufacture or sell products, such as tea for pharmaceutical purposes, dietary supplement liquids, dietary supplement capsules, and nutrition supplement liquids, then “jia ma” cannot be used as a trademark in those products.


Distinctiveness, trademark invalidation, publication examination, relevant consumers, generic term

Relevant statutes Article 23, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 3, and Article 50 of the Trademark Act as amended and issued on May 28, 2003
  • Release Date:2020-11-16
  • Update:2020-12-07