Recently, a Melbourne Federal court ordered an Australian company, Rush Rich Winery, to pay nearly $400,000 in compensation for trademark infringement.
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), the owner of Penfolds, won the trademark infringement lawsuit against Rush Rich Winery for using the plaintiff’s mark, which was found to be substantially identical to Penfold’s Chinese branding.
TWE alleged that the defendant was using a mark that is deceptively similar since Penfolds operates as “Ben Fu” meaning “chasing prosperity” which has a similar meaning to “Rush Rich”.
TWE further claimed that Rush Rich owned Adelaide’s R&R Winery which purchased win in bulk for exportation under the copycat labels.
In a statement reportedly published by TWE, it stated:
“This positive outcome affirms TWE’s leadership in protecting its IP rights against copycat and counterfeit operators”.
“The company continues to invest strongly in this area through a dedicated brand protection team, which implements a comprehensive online and offline strategy and works closely with local authorities in Australia and China to enforce against bad faith operators.
“These proceedings should send a strong message to other copycat operators that their attempts to exploit and infringe TWE’s intellectual property rights and reputation will not be tolerated.”
In another development, a Shanghai court also ordered Rush Rich to pay $426,000 in compensation, after upholding a Treasury Wine Estates unfair competition claim against the company. Rush Rich is to tender an apology to Treasury Wine Estates on its Chinese WeChat account, as well as in the popular magazine China Wine.