SYDNEY Jan 12 Australia's Treasury Wine Estates
has won a legal dispute in Beijing over its right to
use the "Ben Fu" trademark in China, a transliteration for its
flagship Penfolds brand, the company said on Thursday.
The judgment, handed down by Beijing High People's Court,
found that a Chinese individual who had registered the Ben Fu
trademark in 2009 had "failed to demonstrate any genuine use of
the trademark for wine or related business activities," Treasury
Wines said in a statement.
"This trademark will subsequently be cancelled, allowing
for TWE to claim its right to ownership of the Ben Fu trademark
registration and to freely use this trademark across China."
China's intellectual property protections are often
perceived as quite lax but they are steadily improving, lawyers
While Apple Inc in May lost a battle for the use of
the "iPhone" trademark on leather goods, Facebook won a dispute
against a local beverage manufacturer that had filed in 2011 to
label certain foods and beverages "face book".
Melbourne-based TWE, which also owns the Wolf Blass brand,
posted annual net profit growth of 131.2 percent to A$179.4
million ($138 million) in 2016, underpinned by a 76 percent
surge in sales by volume to China, Korea and Japan.
Treasury recorded earnings before interest and tax of A$342
million for the financial year, compared with its guidance of
A$330 million to A$340 million.
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)