SHANGHAI Jan 9 U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson
will appeal a ruling by a Chinese government agency to
strip it of exclusive rights to its OneTouch trademark of
diabetes monitoring products, the company said in a statement
emailed to Reuters on Thursday.
If upheld, the ruling by the State Administration for
Industry and Commerce (SAIC) could open the door for copycat
firms to sell similar products under the same name in China,
which has the largest number of diabetes patients in the world.
Spending on diabetes is expected to climb in China as the
number of cases rises to 142.7 million in 2035 from 98.4 million
now. Spending in 2011 reached $17 billion.
"Johnson & Johnson, which has invested in the Chinese market
under this brand for almost 10 years, is extremely shocked by
the decision and is very disappointed," the company said in its
The company said it would apply for a "judicial review and
cancellation of the decision according to applicable law."
SAIC officials were not immediately available for comment.
The authority revoked Johnson & Johnson's trademark after a
lawyer for a Chinese firm who had made use of the OneTouch brand
name had applied to cancel the trademark, the U.S. firm said.
Local media said the decision was made in December.
Several international firms have entered into trademark
disputes in China recently.
British luxury retailer Burberry Group recently
appealed a decision to revoke a trademark linked to its iconic
tartan, while tech giant Apple Inc paid $60 million in
2012 to settle a trademark case related to its iPad tablet.
Johnson & Johnson took 20 percent of its 67 billion global
revenues from Asia-Pacific and Africa in 2012, according to its
annual financial statement. It did not provide a breakdown.