By Yang Xiaoli  Zhang Jiaqi  and Kang Lifang King &Wood Mallesons Beijing,China

杨晓莉I. Case facts

On January 18, 2012, the government of the Republic of Fiji (the “Fijian Government”) applied to register three certification marks “FIJI PURE MAHOGANY” (No. 10437014), “FIJI PURE” (No. 10437015) and “FPM” (No. 10437016) at the Trademark Office of China, all for “plantation grown mahogany timber” in Class 19.

After examination, the Trademark Office refused registration of the three marks on the grounds that (1) the first two applied-for marks were devoid of distinctiveness; (2) the third mark was similar to the cited markFIJI证明商标三案评述 (No. 6119374); and (3) the applicant, the Fijian Government, did not submit effective Rules for the Use of Certification Marks for all of the three applications. Dissatisfied with the decisions, the Fijian Government filed a  review with the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (“TRAB”).

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