Chinese Court Declares Trademark Invalid for Similarity to Doraemon

posted on by Karen Ressler
Company reportedly registered trademark in 2015

A Chinese court ruled that a character trademark filed by a Fujian Province-based sporting goods company was invalid due to its similarity to the title character in the Japanese manga Doraemon.

The company Jiqimao (机器猫, or "robot cat" — another name for Doraemon in China) has been using the above character with a registered trademark symbol since at least 2011, but Beijing Youth Daily reported that the character was only successfully registered in December 2015.

Animation International, the Shanghai-based company that owns the Doraemon license, filed a complaint the following year, and China's Trademark Review and Adjudication Board ruled that the trademark was invalid. Jiqimao filed a lawsuit to protest the decision in January, reportedly claiming that its image does not sufficiently resemble Doraemon. The court rejected Jiqimao's claims.

The manga creator duo Fujiko Fujio debuted their famous robot cat manga in 1969. The manga inspired three television anime series that have collectively lasted over three decades, television specials, and yearly anime films.

Sources: Beijing Youth Daily, NHK World, Mainichi Shimbun

Thanks to OjaruFan for the news tip.

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