In a trademark dispute going back several years, French wine producer Castel Group, has been ordered to pay owner Li Dao Zhi and his company, Shanghai Banti Wine, more than $5 million — said to be one of the largest compensation rulings in a Chinese intellectual property lawsuit. A Chinese court ruled that Castel’s use of the “Ka Si Te” trademark ((卡斯特, a Chinese transliteration of Castel), constituted trademark infringement. The Zhejiang High Court also ordered Castel to issue a public apology through the publication, China Industry & Commerce News.
Castel has been bottling wine in China since 1999 and used Ka Si Te for its marketing there, but the company had not registered it as a trademark. The Ka Si Te trademark was granted to Li Dao Zhi in 2000. Five years later, Castel won a bid to have Li’s trademark cancelled (due to non-use), but Li ended up winning the trademark back on appeal.
Since 2008, Li has used the Ka Si Te trademark on wines exported from France to China by his company, Shanghai Ka Si Te Wine Co. Ltd. The following year he filed a trademark infringement suit against Castel claiming compensation for Castel’s unlawful use of Ka Si Te from January 2007 to October 2009. A Chinese court ruled in Li’s favor in April 2012.
Castel’s appeal of that ruling resulted in the RMB 33,734,546.26 fine. The company had registered a new registered a new Chinese trademark, Kasidaile (卡思黛乐), earlier this year.
What other trademark infringement cases resulted in large awards of damages?