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Burberry Appeals Trademark Ruling in China

Earlier this month, China’s Trademark Office canceled Burberry’s trademark for its taupe, black, white and red check pattern.

LONDON — Burberry on Wednesday said it has appealed a ruling by state officials in China that would see its iconic Haymarket check pattern on leather goods used freely by other companies.

Earlier this month, China’s Trademark Office canceled Burberry’s trademark for the taupe, black, white and red check pattern — one of the brand’s oldest plaids — on grounds that it had expired and was no longer valid.

The Trademark Office also said it had received a complaint in August 2012 from an organization challenging Burberry’s right to the Haymarket trademark for leather goods in China.

According to industry sources, the complaint was brought by a division of the Lubida factory. Burberry has previously taken Lubida to court over producing counterfeit bags, and subsequently won its case.

“As a global luxury brand, Burberry considers the protection of its trademarks vital to the health of its business and brand,” Burberry said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The Burberry Check is a registered trademark of Burberry Ltd. along with the name ‘Burberry’ and the ‘Burberry Knight’ logo. Burberry protects both its brand and its customers by defending its intellectual property rights.

“Burberry is appealing against a recent decision by the China Trademark Office in relation to the Burberry Check trademark, which relates only to leather goods.

“Ahead of a decision on this appeal, the cancellation decision does not take effect, and there is no change to Burberry’s use or enforcement of its trademark across leather or any other products. We are confident that our appeal will be successful.

“The Burberry Check remains a registered trademark exclusively owned by Burberry and no other parties can use the mark without Burberry’s proper authorization. Burberry always takes the strongest possible action against those who use its trademarks unlawfully.”

China is a growing market for Burberry, both from a domestic and international standpoint. Last month, the company said that Mainland China delivered “high-single-digit comparable growth” in the second quarter, while the brand’s Asia Pacific stores benefited from traveling Chinese luxury customers.