Carrefour sues Chinese retailer for trademark infringement

24th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

French retail chain Carrefour is suing a Chinese company for allegedly using its blue logo on supermarket signs, shopping bags and price tags, state media said Tuesday.

Carrefour accuses Anhui Jiale Supermarket Chain Co and its subsidiaries of trademark infringement for using the French chain's Chinese name, Jialefu, at supermarkets in Fuyang city in the eastern province of Anhui, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The French retailer has asked the Intermediate People's Court in the provincial capital Hefei to order Jiale to change its name and pay six million yuan (882,480 dollars) in compensation, the report said.

Jiale has rejected the accusations, arguing it changed its name from Jialefu to Jiale in August 2009 before the lawsuit was filed, Xinhua said.

It also argued that Carrefour's Chinese name, which means "happy family", was not a distinctive trademark.

A spokesman for Carrefour confirmed the hearing was under way but declined to provide any details about the case.

Officials at the court were not immediately available to comment when contacted by AFP.

Copyright infringement is rife in China, with counterfeit versions of famous foreign-branded goods widely and openly available, ranging from designer clothing and handbags to digital video discs, golf clubs, and even books.

© 2010 AFP

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