SymboThe Case of Infringement on the Olympic l of Five Rings

The case of disputes in which the China National Olympic Committee sued the Jingwei Foodstuff Industrial Co., Ltd. of Shantou city for infringement upon its exclusive right to use its trademark was judged on 17 December 1998 by No.1 Intermediate People's Court of Beijing Municipality. Dissatisfied, the defendant appealed to the Higher People's Court of Beijing Municipality.

The judgment of first instance determined that the Olympic Symbol of Five Rings has been registered by the International Olympic Committee as its trademark in China, and is protected under the Chinese Trademark Law. The National Olympic Committee of China has the right to institute proceedings involving the legal protection thereof. From August 1996 onward, the defendant committed the act of printing, without authorization, the five-ring of IOC on the packages of it products, the Jingwei nutritious oatmeal and Meiwei instant nutritious oatmeal its manufactures and sells. It has constituted an infringement on the exclusive right of IOC to use the Symbol and should bear its corresponding legal liabilities. Accordingly, the Court of first instance ruled that the defendant stop right away its act of using the Olympic symbol of five rings, make an open apology in the press, compensate to the plaintiff RMB 5 million yuan, and bear the reasonable litigation expenses of RMB 55116.8 yuan.

Currently, the case is under the hearing of second instance.