J&J Will Appeal China Ruling to Revoke Diabetes-Strip Trademark

Johnson & Johnson, the world’s biggest maker of health-care products, said it will appeal a China government agency ruling that called for its trademark for the OneTouch diabetes test strips to be revoked.

J&J will apply to a court “for judicial review and cancellation” of the decision from China’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The administration’s trademark review board can remove the blood glucose meters from the market if the company hasn’t filed a lawsuit within 30 days of the Dec. 27 ruling, according to the state-owned China Daily.

Companies from Apple Inc. to Burberry Group Plc have faced battles over brand rights in China. Apple paid $60 million in 2012 to settle a two-year-old dispute regarding the iPad trademark in the Asian nation with Proview International Holdings Ltd., which had applied to Chinese customs to block local shipments of the U.S. company’s tablets.

“Johnson & Johnson, which has invested in the Chinese market under this brand for almost 10 years, is extremely shocked by the decision and is very disappointed,” the company said in its statement on OneTouch.

The application against its trademark had been brought to the trademark board via a Chinese company that previously produced fake Onetouch test strips which were exported to the U.S. and other countries, J&J said.

J&J is also investigating producers and distributors of fake OneTouch test strips in China and “will continue to take active measures to ensure that patients will not be harmed by fake products,” it said.

Burberry Trademark

Burberry, the U.K.’s largest luxury-goods maker, in November said it is appealing a decision by Chinese regulators to restrict the company’s trademark on its hallmark checkered pattern for leather goods. The Chinese regulator’s decision won’t take effect and there will be no change to Burberry’s use of its trademark for leather or other products before a decision on the appeal, Burberry said at the time.

J&J was fined by Chinese authorities last August and two of its units ordered to compensate a local distributor after a court in Shanghai ruled that their setting of minimum resale prices constituted monopolistic conduct. China has been conducting a crackdown on the health-care industry that led to a corruption probe into GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

— With assistance by Daryl Loo

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