Editor’s note: This article is from the micro-channel public number “knowledge productivity” (ID: zhichanli), Author: Peas, 36 krypton release authorized.

Since the birth of WeChat in 2011, for nearly a decade, the pace of Tencent’s intellectual property protection team has never stopped around the protection of trademarks related to WeChat.
On January 21, 2011, version 1.0 of the WeChat social program was born;
On January 24, 2011, Tencent filed an application for the registration of the “WeChat” trademark;
In February 2018, WeChat monthly live registrations exceeded the 1 billion mark;
On June 16, 2020, the latest version of WeChat was launched. The biggest highlight is that users of the IOS system can also modify WeChat.
Since the birth of WeChat in 2011, for nearly a decade, the pace of Tencent’s intellectual property protection team has never stopped around the protection of trademarks related to WeChat.
Malicious registrations are endless
WeChat, a social software created by Tencent, has gradually occupied the leading position in the mobile social market with its long-term deep cultivation. The current user scale has reached 1.1 billion.
Tencent has established mobile payment, WeChat public account, e-commerce, finance, retail, life and other services on WeChat. The service involves all aspects of clothing, food, housing and transportation.According to Ai Media Consulting and Analysis, WeChat is the most commonly used mobile social product by Chinese netizens.
As the head social platform, WeChat has advantages over other social products in terms of user scale and commercialization capabilities.
(Source: AI Media Data Center)
WeChat is well-known, and its trademarks also have great commercial value and brand benefits, or are driven by interests. Some companies and natural persons are constantly exploring on the verge of “illegal” in an attempt to catch the “luxury car” of “WeChat”.
This time, the “protagonist” of the “free ride” is the natural person Liu Jindong.
Since 2017, Liu Jindong has successively applied for registration of 116 related trademarks of “WeChat Ye”, “WeChat Milk” and “WeChat Girl”.When Liu Jindong applied for the first batch of eight “WeChat Lord” trademarks for registration on July 31, 2017, he was challenged by Tencent.
However, in the process of objection, Liu Jindong successively applied for nearly 100 trademarks such as “WeChat Milk” and “WeChat Girl”.
(Source: China Trademark Network)
According to the 12 opposition review decisions published by the China Trademark Network, the reasons for the decision of the State Intellectual Property Office not to register all involve “the trademarks of both parties have constituted similar trademarks used on similar goods, in accordance with Article 30 of the “Trademark Law”Protect the prior trademark rights of opponents.”
(Source: China Trademark Network)
At present, in addition to the 13 “WeChat Girls” trademarks applied for in December 2019 are in the stage of waiting for substantive examination, more than 100 related trademarks such as “WeChat Lord” and “WeChat Milk” applied by Liu Jindong have been denied registration orDismissed directly by the Trademark Office.
In fact, WeChat frequently encountered trademark “free riders”.
On May 30, 2016, Shenzhen Canqi Shoes & Clothing Co., Ltd. applied for the registration of the trademark “The home of WeChat” No. 19956734, which was announced on October 6, 2018.Within the period of objection, the Tencent Intellectual Property Protection Team quickly filed an objection. In March 2020, the Trademark Office made a decision not to register the trademark.
(Source: China Trademark Network)
Coincidentally, from April to May 2019, Yijie Group Beijing Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Easy Company”) is in category 9, category 35, category 36, category 38, category 41, category 42,In the 45th category, a total of 7 categories of goods and services have applied for registration of 31 trademarks such as “WeChat Aegis”, “WeChat”, “WeChat Communication” and “Zhonglu WeChat”. These trademarks are currently being rejected.
(Source: China Trademark Network)
It is worth mentioning that, on July 2, 2012, Yi Jie Company applied for the trademark No. 11148918 on the 45th service. The trademark was initially challenged by Tencent after the announcement of the preliminary examination and approval.
According to (2016) Jing 73 Xingchu 6810 Administrative Judgment, Yi Jie Company was also the agency filed by the Trademark Office when it applied for the registration of the trademark, and it changed the business scope of the “Trademark Agency” on December 14, 2015.Regarding the trademark, both the Trademark Office and the Beijing Intellectual Property Court found that the application for registration of the trademark violated Article 19, paragraph 4, of the “Trademark Law”. “Trademark agencies shall not apply for registration of other trademarks except for their trademark registration.”Provisions.However, after its trademark was judged to be illegal, Yi Jie Company did not stop the infringement, but instead intensified repeatedly copying and imitating WeChat trademarks on multiple categories of goods and services.Its behavior is obviously malicious with the famous brand name and goodwill.
In addition, according to Tianyan’s information, the actual holding company of Yijie is Ye Xujian, its affiliated companies are Guoyu Intellectual Property Co., Ltd. and Yijie Intellectual Property Co., Ltd., and the above-mentioned trademark agency is Guoyu Intellectual Property Co., Ltd.The company, Yi Jie Intellectual Property Co., Ltd. is currently a trademark agency registered with the Trademark Office.
It can be said that Yi Jie is the carrier of Ye Xujian’s trademark registration.Currently, there are 4506 group services for the trademark, and Tencent has filed an invalidation declaration on it.
(Source: China Trademark Network)
The author used “WeChat”, “Trademark” and “Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.” as keywords to search in Zhizhibao database. At present, the database contains 111 related cases, of which 71 are trademark cases, and Tencent is the plaintiff/appellant.There were 77 cases.
(Picture source: Zhizhibao)
How difficult is WeChat trademark protection?
“WeChat” itself has the characteristics of the times and has changed people’s way of life and social operation to some extent.Safeguarding the exclusive right of its trademark is not only the protection of Tencent’s own interests, but also the protection of related public interests.
So far, Tencent has applied for registration of more than 1,300 related trademarks containing the word “WeChat”, of which 110 have been registered in the 38th category related to communication services.According to data from China Trademark Network, there are as many as 1,744 trademarks containing “WeChat” text, of which 567 are applied for registration by other natural persons or enterprises, and their status is mostly invalid, objection, revocation, and litigation.In terms of preventing others from registering “WeChat” related trademarks, the Tencent Intellectual Property Protection Team can spare no effort and comprehensively block it.
According to information from China Trademark Network, WeChat went online in January 2011. In the same month, Tencent applied for registration of computer software-related category 9 and instant messaging-related category 38 “WeChat” trademarks.In 2012, the number of WeChat users exceeded 100 million, and Tencent applied for the registration of 19 “WeChat” trademarks in the second, third, and fifth categories in the same year.
Since then, Tencent has applied for trademark registration in its relevant categories and fields for products launched on WeChat later, such as “WeChat Scan”, “WeChat Shake”, “WeChat Red Envelope” and “WeChat Mini Program”.Class defense protection.
(Source: China Trademark Network)
In December 2016, the Trademark Office first recognized the “WeChat and Picture” trademark as a well-known trademark used in Class 9 computer software and other commodities.
In December 2018, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court also mentioned in the (2017) Beijing 73 Minchu No. 1668 judgment that the No. 9085979 “WeChat and Picture” trademark and four other “WeChat” related trademarks all constituted category 9 “computer software”(Recorded), computer programs (downloadable software), and other well-known trademarks on services such as Class 38 “Information Delivery”.
The identification of the “WeChat” well-known trademark further validates the market value of the “WeChat” brand.
It can be said that in terms of intellectual property protection layout, Tencent’s intellectual property protection team has built an all-round moat, but comprehensive protection is still difficult to prevent “hearted people.”Malicious registration acts such as the above, undoubtedly consume more intellectual property protection costs of enterprises, and also constitute a large loss of judicial resources.
For malicious registration, experts say
On April 23, 2019, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress made the fourth revision of the Trademark Law. The revised Trademark Law was implemented on November 1, 2019. The new Trademark Law has made regulations on irregular trademark registrationTighter regulations.The first is to increase the application for registration of malicious trademarks that are not for the purpose of use, which should be rejected, and the second is to increase the reasonable attention and review obligations of trademark agencies for “the application for registration of malicious trademarks that are not for the purpose of use.”The newly added content clearly states “bright sword” for malicious squatting and hoarding of trademarks.
In addition, the new trademark law also added punishment methods for malicious application for trademark registration, that is, for malicious application for trademark registration, according to the circumstances, warnings, fines and other administrative penalties; for malicious filing of trademark lawsuits, the people’s courts will give administrative penalties.The improvement of the punishment mechanism will inevitably increase the illegal cost of malicious cybersquatting behavior, which will help to reduce the malicious registration behavior of cybersquatting actors.
On April 21, 2020, the Supreme People’s Court issued the “Opinions on Comprehensively Strengthening Judicial Protection of Intellectual Property Rights”, which made it clear that malicious applications for trademarks will not be protected.In addition, in terms of strengthening the protection of the rights and interests of commercial signs, the “Opinions” require that comprehensive consideration should be given to the similarity of trademark signs, the similarity of commodities, the distinctiveness and popularity of trademarks to be protected, and cases of trademark infringement and trademark authorization should be judged according to law.Cases, enhance the recognition and differentiation of trademark signs.Make full use of the legal rules, make an explanation within the discretionary space granted by the law to effectively regulate the malicious application for trademark registration, and promote the normalization and standardization of the trademark registration order.Strengthen the protection of well-known trademarks, and combine well-known facts to alleviate the burden of proof of trademark well-known trademark owners.
In this regard, Zang Baoqing, deputy secretary general of the China Trademark Association, also said that under the current policy environment of vigorously cracking down on malicious registration, similar cases of malicious registration on WeChat are not only legal issues, but also social issues, and a situation of co-governance in all aspects should be formed.
“Over the past few years, the phenomenon of malicious trademark registration by individuals or enterprises has occurred frequently, and the reasons are various.” These include the poor integrity environment of the society as a whole, and some market players lacking the basic sense of honesty and trustworthiness and standardized management;In theory and practice, there are misunderstandings on the function of the trademark function and the trademark registration system, which has contributed to the phenomenon of squatting and hoarding; trademark registration fees have been repeatedly reduced, and the cost of malicious registration is too low; capital intervention, malicious registration specialization,Industrialization; there are loopholes in the law, insufficient means to regulate malicious registration, etc.
So, how can an enterprise escape the “trademark hooliganism”? Zang Baoqing believes that first of all, it is necessary to prevent in advance, and to arrange the goods or service categories that are closely related to their own operations in advance, and do the necessary registration; secondly, strengthen monitoring and make full use of the lawObjections, invalidation, revocation, litigation and other legal procedures; the third is to counterattack forcefully and make full use of the current legal provisions to stop malicious registration.
Take the well-known trademark system as an example. In practice, administrative agencies and judicial organs provide anti-dilution protection for well-known trademarks under certain conditions. Using this system well can reduce the pressure of a large number of defensive registrations by right holders.
In addition, trademarks are registered in other categories, which hinders the normal operation of the enterprise. The enterprise is forced to carry out defensive registration or passive rights protection. A large amount of investment in human and financial resources will also cause unnecessary waste.For high-profile trademarks, malicious registration may cause the trademark to dilute and bring losses to the right holder.
With the increasing awareness of social intellectual property rights and the prosperous development of the market economy, the number of trademark registration applications has increased year by year. The contradiction between the large number of trademark confirmation cases and insufficient examination power is more prominent. The malicious registration phenomenon has exacerbated this trend. Examination authorities must notIt does not spend considerable effort to prevent, screen, stop, and crack down on malicious registration, which wastes limited review resources and disrupts the normal work order.
Against the background of the double expectation of enterprises and examination authorities, we also expect that the trademark protection system and examination mechanism will gradually improve.
Some of the above pictures are from the Internet, invaded and deleted

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