China’s top court has ruled that the two leading brands of herbal tea may both use the exact same packaging, as long as they do not harm each other’s interests. The makers of Jiaduobao and Wong Lo Kat have been locked in a five-year legal battle over the right to a trademark design: a red can with distinctive yellow lettering…Full Article: Aug 2017

Key Point

  • In 2014, JDB appealed a Guangdong High People’s Court decision that banned the company from using the signature design (i.e. a red can with distinctive yellow lettering) on its product.
  • In May 2012, after a Vice-Chairman of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical was found guilty of taking bribes from JDB, the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission voided an agreement that extended JDM’s trademark use until 2020.
  • In 1995, Guangzhou Pharmaceutical leased the Wong Lo Kat trademark to JDB, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based JDB Group, for 10 years.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In late 2015, another GPH-JDB case was opened in Beijing. Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd (GPH) sued Jiaduobao (China) Drink for design infringement. In the years preceding this case, there have been at least 15 GPH-JDB lawsuits regarding fake advertisements, trademark infringements, and unfair competition cases.
  • In early December 2015, a Guangdong court ruled that JiaDuoBao had to pay CNY 10 million (~US$1.5 million) to Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings over fake advertisements. After the expiration of JDB’s lease of GPH’s Wong Lo Kat brand in 2010, JDB reportedly bribed GPH staff to illegally extend the lease.
  • In March 2013, GPH and JDB reportedly called a truce. Instead, both companies stated they would focus on product development.
  • From 2007 to 2012, JiaDuoBao (JDB) was the best-selling canned drink in China. In 2012, JDB’s share of China’s herbal tea market reached up to 73%.
  • The feud between Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings (GPH) and Hong Kong-based JiaDuoBao (JDB) is primarily over Wong Lo Kat, an herbal drink that Guangzhou Pharmaceutical licensed to JDB in from 1995 to 2010. In 2011, Guangzhou Pharmaceutical won a lawsuit retaining the rights to the trademark, causing JDB to launch a new trademark (JiaDuoBao) to replace Wong Lo Kat.
  • Founded in 1828 and headquartered in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, Guangzhou Wanglaoji Pharmaceutical (GPH) produces and distributes herbal medicine and care health products including various herbal tea beverages. Its most famous product line is its Wanglaoji Herbal Tea beverages.

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