By King & Wood’s Trademark Group
In March, the leading domestic industrial recorder enterprise Hangzhou Pangu Automation Systems Co., Ltd. ("Pangu Ltd.", 杭州盘古自动化系统有限公司) found that searching on www.baidu.com ("Baidu", 百度公司) for "Pangu recorders (in Chinese)" etc. returned results heading "Pangu recorder professional manufacturer Hangzhou Mengkong instruments www.mkong.com.cn (in Chinese)", and clicking the link leads to the website of Hangzhou Mengkong Instrument Technology Co., Ltd. ("Mengkong", 杭州盟控仪表技术有限公司).
Pangu Ltd. has registered the mark " (PG Device and PANGU and Chinese characters)" with Reg. No. 1981239 in respect of integrated instruments and industrial automation systems back on October 14, 2002.
Pangu Ltd. then sued Mengkong and Baidu in the Binjiang People’s Court of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province for trademark infringement and unfair competition among other claims. Mengkong claimed no infringement or unfair competition, for "PANGU" is not a trademark owned by Pangu Ltd. whose registration is on the combination of PG Device and PANGU and Chinese characters. Baidu’s defense was that it was merely providing digital search support to Mengkong, and that Mengkong signed a service agreement clearly prohibiting keywords that would infringe intellectual property. Since Baidu promptly removed the links after being notified of the infringing content, it argued that it should not bear any liability.