China’s People University Debates Danone – Wahaha Case

Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:16
Posted in category Uncategorized

The last few weeks of the Danone – Wahaha battle royal has been fairly quiet (maybe Mr. Zong has laryngitis?) and the lawyers are in full control of the situation now.

there have been a few tit-for-tat stories about additional lawsuits against Danoneagainst Wahaha… and even a call for a truce from a French Foreign minister.

However, of all the big stories yet to be written, the one that could potentially be the most interesting one is most certainly going to follow the Hangzhou arbitration (see Round Five: Wahaha Lands a Solid Right Hook) that will decide whether or not the Wahaha trademark belongs to Wahaha or the JV.

Theoretically, this could spell disaster for either camp, and this morning I received the following from a friend in Beijing:

3 media outlets reported that yesterday a seminar was held by People University of China where legal experts/scholars discussed about the legal aspects of Danone/WHH dispute, the following comments were made:

  • Trademark Transfer Agreement is valid.
  • WHH Group breached the agreement by holding/using WHH trademark
  • WHH shareholders have serious legal problems.
  • The court will probably ask two parties to implement the signed agreement.
  • Trademark is company’s property, which shall not be intervened by Statement Trademark Office, an administrative organization.
  • If Stockholm Arbitration Committee makes the judgment that WHH trademark belongs to JV, the State Trademark Office has to follow the judgment according to “New York Convention”.
  • WHH shareholders shall obey business ethics.
  • Amicable solution is win-win for both parities

While, purely an academic discussion, the findings/ conclusions are interesting to say the least, and perhaps a bit naive given how far down the road this has gone, and how dirty the fight has been.

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3 Responses to “China’s People University Debates Danone – Wahaha Case”

  1. Law Office of Todd L. Platek says:

    July 26th, 2007 at 9:04 am

    If the arbitration proceeding is open to the public (I suspect it is not), that would be wonderful to follow in person. It will be important to see the submissions of the parties, and the award of the arbitration panel.
    The suggestions of the seminar participants are all useful, and may have some tacit influence on the arbitrators. If a transcript of the seminar is available, kindly advise. Many thanks, Todd Platek.

  2. Rich says:

    July 26th, 2007 at 9:17 am

    Hi Todd,

    Maybe this is Court TV’s big China chance! Mr. Zong would sure be a character in court.

    I am still searching to see if I can find the write up, but I do not think there is a transcript of the session. My understanding is that these notes were just of the press conference.

    Rich

  3. Law Office of Todd L. Platek says:

    July 28th, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks, Rich.

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