Successful Trademark Objection on HDS Trademark

“HDS” is the abbreviation of “Hot Delivery Service”, which stands for a swift delivery service based on timed departure, timed arrival and timed picking products. “HDS” has been frequently referred to such swift delivery service since it appeared in some near-sea shipping line such as the Sino-Japanese route, in the beginning of this century. Thus, HDS has become a common name for such delivery service, which is widely recognized.

However, in the end of 2008, one Japanese company secretly applied to the Trademark Office of State Administration of Industry and Commerce (the “Trademark Office of SAIC”) for the trademark registration of HDS, intending to obtain the exclusive right to use HDS. After the application being accepted by the Trademark Office of SAIC, the Japanese company started to claim that it has obtained the trademark of “HDS”, so that the trademark cannot be used by any other companies. If Jin Jiang Shipping Company (“Jin Jiang”), as one of the leading companies in the shipping industry, is prohibited from using the “HDS” trademark, its business operation will be seriously impacted. Therefore, Jin Jiang engaged Mr. Chambers Yang to file a trademark objection against the “HDS” trademark registration to the Trademark Office of SAIC.

With Mr. Chambers Yang’s guidance and assistance, Jin Jiang collected a lot of evidences both in China and from overseas, including the evidence proving the name “HDS” had been commonly used among most companies in the shipping industry, “HDS” had been widely recognized by government authorities, industry associations, and public media, and such name had also been recognized by foreign government authorities and trademark registration offices. Therefore, Jin Jiang claimed that “HDS” is the abbreviation of “Hot Delivery Service”, and it will lack distinctiveness if this trademark is exclusively used in the certain field, so the registration of the “HDS” trademark shall be rejected. In the trademark objection application, Mr. Chambers Yang further analyzed the uniformity between the objected trademark and the commonly used service name in the industry, so the interest of the whole industry will be damaged if objected trademark is registered and exclusively used.

As the result, Trademark Office of SAIC deemed “HDS” as the abbreviation of “Hot Delivery Service”, which is a commonly used service name in the whole shipping industry, so it lacks distinctiveness. Therefore, in accordance with Subparagraph 2, Article 11, and Article 13 of the Trademark Law of People’s Republic of China, registration application of this trademark is rejected.