A dietary supplement supplier has been ordered to pay 40,000 USD in compensation to internet giant Tencent for infringing the trademarks for Tencent's social media app WeChat, reports Anhui Business Daily.
Tencent filed the lawsuit against the Anhui Weixin dietary supplement company in the intermediate court of Hefei City, Anhui Province. Tencent says that Anhui Weixin had used WeChat's Chinese name "Weixin" and its logo without authorization.
Tencent released WeChat, a social media app, at the start of 2011. The app is immensely popular in China and has a huge number of users. Tencent is the owner of the registered trademarks for "WeChat" and its logo.
The Anhui Weixin company was established on October 23, 2015, with a registered business focused on the wholesale and retail sale of dietary supplements, prepackaged food, and daily necessities.
The official website of the Anhui Weixin company shows that many of its products use the name "Weixin" and are branded with logos that resemble the WeChat logo.
Tencent said the Anhui Weixin has purposely attached itself to WeChat to mislead the public, and in doing so infringed on their WeChat trademarks. Tencent asked the Anhui Weixin company to stop using the name "Weixin" immediately. It also demanded that the company immediately stop using the name "Weixin" and logos similar to Tencent's WeChat logo on its website and in its workplace. Tencent also demanded that they immediately stop producing and selling goods in breach of Tencent's trademarks, and that they recall products in breach of their trademarks.
Tencent also asked the Anhui Weixin company to issue a statement of apology and pay compensation of 1 million yuan (around 159,000 USD).
The Anhui Weixin company argued that, because its business operates in a different industry to WeChat, consumers wouldn't be misled. The court found in favor of Tencent, agreeing to all of their demands on Anhui Weixin, but set the cash compensation at the lower amount of 250,000 yuan (40,000 USD).