JD, Alibaba in 11.11 trademark dispute

A trademark dispute over the Double 11 shopping spree, which involved two Chinese e-commerce giants JD and Alibaba, was publicly heard at Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Thursday. 

The lawsuit was initiated by JD after its five trademarks used for the promotion of the shopping extravaganza, which fell on Nov 11, was announced invalid by the National Trademark Review Committee, according to a statement provided by the court. In response, JD sued the committee to the court. 

During the trial, the committee's lawyers said that their client made the decision because similar trademarks had been registered by Alibaba. If the authority still allows JD's registration application, it will disobey the Chinese Trademark Law, they added. 

But JD's attorneys said that the trademarks, written as Double 11 in Chinese characters, should be regarded as the common names of the shopping carnival as it fell on Nov 11, "or the trademarks registered by Alibaba have no significance". 

They requested the court to order the administration to revoke the decision and make a new one, adding their clients' trademarks would not mislead consumers. 

The ruling will be announced at a later date, the court said after about one-hour case hearing. 

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd achieved record sales of 268.4 billion yuan ($38.4 billion) during the shopping gala, an increase of 26 percent compared with the figure in 2018. 

As a latecomer to join the frenzy, JD also reported its accumulated sales during the shopping festival held from Nov 1 to Nov 11 reached a staggering 204.4 billion yuan. 

(Source: chinadaily.com.cn)