Futabasha Wins Chinese Crayon Shin-chan Trademark Cases

posted on by Ko Ransom
3 firms ordered to stop infringing on manga kindergartner character, pay publisher

The Japanese publisher Futabasha won two legal victories in China over Crayon Shin-chan, the late Yoshito Usui's manga about a mischievous kindergartener. The Chinese evening newspaper Legal Daily reported on March 13 that a court repealed a Chinese company's trademark on the design and Chinese name of Crayon Shin-chan. The Beijing district court ruled against the company's trademark, citing the fact that it has not been in use for three years.

The Shanghai-based publication Oriental Morning Post added on Saturday that a Shanghai court ordered three other companies to halt their infringing activities and pay Futabasha 300,000 Chinese Yuan (about 4 million yen or US$50,000) in compensation.

According to Legal Daily, a Guangdong-based maker of optical products first applied for the trademark in 1996, which was then registered for use as a trademark on children's clothes in 1997 and transferred to a Jiangsu Province-based company in 2004. Futabasha was then sued by a Chinese company for trademark infringement that year — even though it has been publishing the original manga since 1990.

Futabasha unsuccessfully petitioned to repeal the Chinese trademark in 2004, and later succeeded in a 2010 petition. However, the Chinese trademark had been transferred once again to a different company by that point, and that company appealed the 2010 decision. The March 12 repealing marked the defeat of this appeal.

Futabasha had filed a lawsuit against three Chinese companies with the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court earlier this year. Futabasha alleged that the three companies had been illegally using the name and likeness of the manga's title kindergartener. The Japanese publisher had initially asked for 1.06 million Chinese yuan (about 14 million yen or US$170,000) in compensation for damages.

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