Treasury Wine Estates has successfully achieved registration of its BEN FU (奔富) trademark in China, the Chinese transliteration for its Penfolds wine brand.
TWE is now the owner of the earliest trademark registrations for 奔富 (BEN FU) in relation to wine in both China and Australia, dating back to 9 February 2011 and 1 April 2016 respectively.
This announcement comes after almost 10 years of litigation and enforcement by TWE through the Chinese courts and authorities to claim its ownership of the BEN FU trademark after it was hijacked by a trade mark squatter.
The squatter registered the BEN FU trademark in 2009, however this mark was successfully invalidated by TWE through the Chinese Courts on the grounds of non-use and bad faith in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
Further, the subsequent oppositions filed by this individual (and others) against TWE’s own trademark application for BEN FU were also rejected in April 2020 by the Chinese Intellectual Property Office for seeking to rely on untenable grounds.
According to managing director North Asia, Tom King, this is a significant milestone for the company as it cements TWE as the legitimate registered trademark owner of the BEN FU brand, which is one of the most recognised wine brands in China.
“Protecting the integrity of our historic wine brands against trademark piracy and misappropriation has always been a priority and we have never wavered in our commitment to this endeavor,” Mr King said.
“We are delighted with the outcome, as it gives us even greater ability to enforce the protection of our brand in line with our zero-tolerance approach to IP infringements, including counterfeit and copycat brands.”
Since its founding in Australia more than 175 years ago, Penfolds wines have won the acclaim and affection of wine lovers across the world.
With a presence in China spanning 25 years, Penfolds has earned an outstanding reputation among Chinese consumers, trusted for its quality and heritage.
For more than 20 years, Chinese consumers and customers have also come to know, love and refer to the Penfolds brand as Ben Fu.