France's Hermes loses China trademark fight: report

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - French luxury group Hermes International SCA has lost a lawsuit against China’s Trademark Appeal Board over the board’s refusal to cancel a trademark that bears similarities to Hermes’ Chinese name, the Shanghai Daily reported on Monday.

Hermes, which is known as “Ai Ma Shi” in China, has appealed repeatedly to the trademark board since 1997 to get the board to cancel a trademark held by a menswear firm in southern China.

Hermes said the trademark registered by the Guangdong province-based menswear company could mislead buyers, but the trademark board said it had approved the trademark under normal legal procedures.

The court ruled against Hermes, saying it did not provide evidence that the trademark had been acquired illegally or prove that the trademark was well known among mainland consumers, the newspaper reported.

A Hermes spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Hermes is not the only foreign company having trouble in China over trademarks. Apple Inc has faced lawsuits from a Chinese technology firm over its use of the iPad trademark, which the Chinese company claims to own.

Last week, basketball legend Michael Jordan sued a Chinese sportswear company over the unauthorised use of his name.

Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Chris Lewis