SINGAPORE - EtonHouse International Education Group has won a trademark infringement suit against the Chinese Etonkids Educational Group, marking an end to a legal tussle that has stretched for more than two years.
The preschool and international school operator, headquartered in Singapore, was granted 800,000 yuan (S$163,680) in statutory damages by Beijing's Intellectual Property Rights Court, who ruled in favour of EtonHouse's claims on Friday (Sept 29).
EtonHouse filed the first lawsuit against Etonkids in 2015, over how the Chinese company used the same two Chinese characters for "Eton" in its nameprominently in many places, such as on its official website.
EtonHouse's trademarks to the name "EtonHouse" and the Chinese characters for "Eton" were approved at the beginning of 2003. Etonkids had their trademark to "Eton International School" approved in 2004, after it was set up in Aug 2003.
Founder of EtonHouse Mrs Ng Gim Choo said: "We are greatly encouraged by the judgement. Our victorious trademark infringement case is also a win for other foreign companies and a testimony that intellectual property is protected in China.
"EtonHouse remains committed to protecting our brand's reputation in China and across the world."
EtonHouse first entered the Chinese market in 2003 with an international school in Suzhou. It has 40 schools in more than 20 cities in China.
It has more than 100 international schools in countries such as India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Kazakhstan, providing education to more than 12,000 children globally.