PARIS — Alfred Dunhill has been awarded 10 million renminbi, or $1.44 million, following a Guangdong Province court ruling that men’s wear brand Danhuoli was guilty of trademark infringement and unfair competition practice.
The case was heard by Foshan Intermediate People’s Court and centered on Danhuoli’s logo, which featured tall, stretched-out letters, in black and white and all lowercase, imitating the “long tail mark” of the Dunhill logo.
In its ruling, the court also deemed that the individual responsible for the company was personally liable for the infringement, adding a further dissuasive element to intellectual property infringement in the country, according to Dunhill.
“Today’s ruling demonstrates Alfred Dunhill Ltd.’s unequivocal resolve in tackling infringement of our IP rights in China and globally,” said Alfred Dunhill chief executive officer Andrew Maag. Maag added that the ruling was “fair” and “proportionate.”
Dunhill and its advisers, which included international intellectual property advisory Rouse and China-based Lusheng Law Firm, touted the ruling as a landmark trademark victory in China for any global brand, citing the sum of the award as significantly larger than average rulings in such cases.
“The decision should reinforce to other brand owners that China is finally getting serious about protecting foreign brands,” said Rouse ceo Luke Minford. A $1.5 million win last year by New Balance, which according to the sneaker company represented the largest-ever payout to a foreign firm in the country, was not considered a major shift by Chinese authorities, analysts said at the time.
Dunhill said Danhuoli had also operated a company registered as Dunhill Group, based in Hong Kong, to manage corporate business activities, which has been shut down but still operates in mainland China.
Danhuoli was not immediately reachable for comment.