In case you haven’t heard yet, a year-long legal battle is over. Last week, the People’s Higher Court of Fujian Province ruled in favor of the American sports apparel and footwear brand Under Armour suing the Chinese copycat Uncle Martian for trademark infringement. In conclusion, the copycat must pay approximately $300,000 USD in damages, publish a statement to eliminate the deleterious effect of the infringement and to destroy all infringing products.
Under Amour filed a lawsuit against Uncle Martian in June of last year accusing them of stealing the design for Under Armour’s Curry 2 basketball shoes. Uncle Martian was also accused of stealing of Under Armour’s logo, although the Chinese company said they were focused on developing their own brand.
As mentioned in our previous article on the topic (click here), the outcome is hardly surprising for anyone. Under Armour’s trademarks in China were in order – registered early and broadly and this is what it counts. Notwithstanding the fact that when filing the lawsuit, the American brand was asking for approximately $15 million USD in damages but in the end got only $300,000 USD, this is a win of tremendous importance. This case, in connection with Michael Jordan’s success in the dispute between the basketball legend and another Chinese copycat called Qiaodan, indicates the enormous progress China has made in the last years in regards to strengthening and improving the IP protection of international brands.