people won't be able to quench their thirst with a refreshing "face
book" beverage, after the U.S. social networking company won a rare
trademark victory against a local firm in China.
By contrast, Apple Inc last month lost its battle to prevent a domestic
company from using the "iPhone" trademark on leather goods in China.
China's intellectual property protections are often perceived as quite
lax but they are steadily improving, lawyers say. The victory may offer
a glimmer of hope for Facebook Inc in China, where its social network is
The Beijing Municipal High People's Court said the Zhongshan Pearl River
Drinks application, filed in 2011, to label certain foods and beverages
"face book" was an obvious act of copying and harmed fair market
A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment. An employee at Pearl River
Drinks said the case was not widely known at the company and that the
staff member in charge of it was not available for comment.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives have made concerted
efforts to woo Chinese officials. In March, Zuckerberg had a rare
meeting with the country's president, a suggestion of warming relations
between Facebook and the government.
Facebook had previously objected to China's Trademark Review and
Adjudication Board twice but was unsuccessful, prompting its decision to
take the case to court.