The DSQUARED2 Chinese Trademark Battle is Not Over

Italy-based design house DSQUARED2 has won the right to distribute its collections in China. The recent proceedings stem from a trademark case that arose in 2011, when the Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court rejected DSQUARED2’s China-specific trademark application. The brand, which was founded by twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten in 1994, was originally denied the right to operate in China, as Nuohe (a China-based business) had already trademarked the DSQUARED2 term. However, a court in Hangzhou recently held that the Italian label is "legitimately allowed" to sell its designs in China, finding that there will be no confusion between the two brands and therefore, no infringement on DSQUARED2’s behalf. Turns out, Nuohe, a company that sells counterfeit goods, registered the DSQUARED2 trademark, along with the Dior Homme and Iceberg marks, and opened stores using the label's logo lettering, and copying products and even the layouts of DSQUARED2's boutiques.

While the ruling means that DSQUARED2 is permitted to sell its designs in China, the legal battle is not over, as Nuohe still holds the DSQUARED2 trademark. Dsquared2 is currently trying to invalidate Nuohe's registered mark with the Beijing trademark office. The brand has filed an appeal to contest the mark, and Fabio Giacopello, a partner at Chinese law firm HFG, who represents the brand says he expects the appeal to be heard before June 2014. More to come ...