Shell Wins Trademark Suit in China


A Chinese court ordered three domestic companies today to pay Royal Dutch Shell more than ¥5 million in damages for trademark infringement involving the sale of lubricants.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court sided with the Anglo-Dutch energy giant in concluding that the defendant companies – all owned by the same husband and wife – used Shell’s trademarks without permission.

The companies are North Shell Co., Erjianchi Co. and Sanan Netzsch Co., which are owned by Si Wang and his wife Wu Song. The court ordered them to pay Shell ¥5 million (U.S. $771,000) in damages and ¥500,000 in legal fees. Shell had requested 10 times that amount.

Shell was unable to respond by deadline, and the defendants could not be reached for comment.

According to a news release published on the court’s website, Shell alleged that the infringement occurred from 2016 to 2020. The court ruled that the defendant’s acts lasted at least until December 2019.

China amended its trademark law in April of 2019, and the court noted that the new law provided that actions violating it will be deemed violations even if those actions began before the change so long as they continued after the change. The court did not say whether the defendant’s actions would have violated the previous law.

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