21st century is an era of so-called "knowledge economy". As a sunrise industry in the 21st century, hotel industry will be faced with new challenges and unprecedented development opportunity. Only does the enterprise conform to the trend of the times, grasp the new demand of the market, and timely conduct innovation management, it can become a winner in the competitive market. A large amount of insiders engaging in hotel operation and management are thinking up new ideas for future hotel development strategy. Intellectual property rights strategy under future hotel operation and management will become a very important part of hotel management strategy.
Intellectual property rights belongs civil rights, a general term for rights based on creative intellectual achievements and industrial and commercial sign in accordance with the law. Intellectual property rights strategy under hotel management is an integrated planning, made in advance, matching with enterprise's overall operation on how to create, protect, manage and apply the intellectual property rights of hotel. The common intellectual property rights related to hotel operation include enterprise name right, trademark right, trade secret of business operation, etc.
The transaction of Maojia Restaurant intellectual property rights takes the opening of Shaoshan Maojia Restaurant on March 8, 1987 as a starting point. From now on, "Maojia" enterprise name right becomes the first intellectual property rights of Maojia Restaurant that applied and registered No. 765479 'Maojia and graph' trademark to the State Trademark Bureau in 1993, which made an update not only from its enterprise name right to trademark right, but also its brand conservation area from industry and commerce administration registration area to the whole China. Therefore, since the date of Maojia Restaurant applying the approval to the Trademark Office of State Administration for Industry and Commerce on September 7, 1995, all brands with "Maojia" or similar name such as "Maojia eating house", "Maojia cookshop", "Maojia canteen", "Maojia coffee shop", etc. will belong to the behavior of violating Maojia Restaurant's trademark right.
On December 1, 1997, Shaoshan Maojia Restaurant made a complaint to Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau of Hainan Province to reflect that Hainan Maojia Village Hotel and its 2 branches violated "Maojia" exclusive right by using the trademark "Maojia Village" similar with "Maojia" as its enterprise name. Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau of Hainan Province verified that the hotel in Hainan registered its enterprise on July 15, 1996 approved by Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau of Hainan Province, and its hotel and 2 branches only hung its shop sign "Hainan Maojia Village Hotel" on the door of its hotels, but its advertisement signboard, street nameplate, park, menu, waiters' costumes were marked with obvious words of "Maojia Restaurant". Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau of Hainan Province held the idea that both Hainan Maojia Village Hotel and Shaoshan Maojia Restaurant operated catering services, and Shaoshan Maojia Restaurant and its "Maojia" trademark enjoyed a certain visibility in the society. The above behaviors of Hainan Maojia Village Hotel and its 2 branches existed a subjective purpose of making use of reputation of "Maojia" trademark to attract consumers, which objectively made all consumers mistake that there was a certain special links with Shaoshan Maojia Restaurant. Therefore, Hainan Maojia Village Hotel and its 2 branches not only damaged "Maojia" trademark reputation, but also made a violation to the right of exclusive use of registered trademark. So, it's necessary to ask it to change its enterprise name, and stop using its name "Maojia Village" similar with "Maojia" any more. On February 19, 1998, as for the above issues, Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau of Hainan Province asked for instructions to the Trademark Office of State Administration for Industry and Commerce for caution's sake. The Trademark Office of State Administration for Industry and Commerce held an idea that Hainan Maojia Village Hotel and its 2 branches used the words similar with "Maojia" - No. 765479 trademark working in a restaurant, which did not belong to the normal use method of enterprise name. If Hainan Maojia Village Hotel and its 2 branches did it without approval, which would constitute the behavoir of violating "Maojia" trademark exclusive right of No. 765479, while, the Trademark Office of State Administration for Industry and Commerce also agreed with the handling suggestion on enterprise name change of Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau of Hainan Province.
Except the issue of "Maojia" enterprise name and trademark right, trade secret in catering industry is an another nonnegligible issue including recipe and processing technology of signature dishes, franchisee information, internal management process and remuneration of chain-store operations, which are important components of intellectual property rights protected by law. As protecting well-known trademark, state has given more attention and equities, for example:
According to the Beijing Business Today on March 11, 2009, Haidian Branch of Beijing Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce made an investigation of suspecting a restaurant infringing the trademark of "Peking Eastern House". Industrial and commercial personnel gave his introduction that the investigation behavior was a kind of protection to time-honoured brand and well-known trademark. Though the restaurant running Lanzhou stretched noodles, it hung the enterprise name of "Peking Eastern House" inside its shop. The Lanzhou stretched noodles restaurant near Zizhu Bridge printed the words of “Peking Eastern House" at all seats inside its shop. The waiters inside the shop made their expressions that they did not know that the behavior involving infringement. The boss of the shop was not present, and the waiters did not know where the words of "Peking Eastern House" at all seats came from. The investigation of infringement started from a report coming from a consumer located near the shop. The relevant principal of Trademark Section of Haidian Branch of Beijing Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce made his expression that the restaurant did not get any authorization from Peking Eastern House Group before based on his verification. The investigation behavior was a kind of protection to time-honoured brand and well-known trademark.
Our company is the owner of "Maojia and Graph"(registration numbe: 765479, Class 43 restaurant, hotel, etc.), "Maojia Restaurant and Graph" (registration numbe: 4669361, Class 43), and shall enjoy the exlusive right of the trademark according to the law. The exclusive right of the trademark refers to trademark registrant's exclusive right to use. After trademark is registrated according to the legal procedures, the trademark registrant will become the trademark owner, who has the only right to use and transfer his registered trademark, any person excpet the registered trademark will not have the right to use other's trademark registered according to the law. In socialist market economy, the registered trademark of the enterprise is not only the sign distinguishing between commodity producer and operator, represents its commodity's specific quality and exclusive production process technology, but also plays a role of product advertising and helps consumers to choose products.
Exclusive right to use trademark is divided into right to use and right to forbid. The right to use means that the owner of the registered trademark has the right to use the registered trademark within the list of approved goods. The right to forbid means that the owner of the registered trademark has the right to forbid the person to use the registered trademark without his approval, which right has exclusiveness. Our Trademark Act has made it clear that it is forbidden to use same or similar trademark at same or similar product without the approval of the owner of the registered trademark, otherwise, the behavior shall be considered as infringement act and the relevant person should bear his legal liability. As for the person using the product outside the period of authorization, he should also bear his legal liability as infringement act without authorized permission. For example:：
According to the People's Court Daily on November 21, 2008, Zhejiang Quzhou City intermediate people's court made a judgment to a trademark infringement case, decreeing that the defendant Mao Huiqin must immediately stop her behavior of violating the right of exclusive use of registered trademark of "Maojia" words and graph combination, and compensate 50,000 yuan of economic losses to the accuser Shaoshan Maojia Restaurant Development Co., Ltd. Shaoshan Maojia Restaurant is the predecessor of Shaoshan Maojia Restaurant Development Co., Ltd. (called Shaoshan Company). In September, Maojia Restaurant made a registration of trademark of "Maojia" words and graph combination, and on March 8, 2005, it transfered the trademark to the accuser Shaoshan Company. On December 6, 2003, a Franchise Contract was signed by Maojia Restaurant and Mao Huiqin granchising that Mao Huiqin could run Maojia Restaurant chain store near long-distance passenger transportation center at South District of Quzhou City and use the Maos' registered trademark, related shop logo, signboard, and its corporate culture with pay from March 28, 2004 to March 27, 2007. After the expiration of the contract, Mao Huiqin did not renew a lease, but continued to use "Maojia" trademark and other logo to run her restaurant. The Court made it clear through trial that the accuser Shaoshan Company transfered and enjoyed the right of exclusive use of registered trademark of "Maojia" words and graph combination from Maojia Restaurant according to the law, and the defendant Mao Huiqin fulfilled her obligations according to the contract. But under the situation of knowing that the right of exclusive use of registered trademark of "Maojia" expired, she still continued to use the right of exclusive use of registered trademark of "Maojia" words and graph combination, which violated the right of exclusive use of registered trademark of the accuser Shaoshan Company. Hence the above judgment was made.
The founder of the Maos created a valuable brand of "Maojia" based on her forward-looking vision, laid a foundation of intellectual property rights of Maojia Restaurant, and provided a stage for us showing our talent. Our management and application of intellectual property rights can not live without every franchisee and grass-roots staff's participation. Every dish made by our chefs in our kitchen, every smile to guests sent by our grass-roots waiters in our restaurant, and every elegant dining environment created by each chain store can preserve and increase the value of our brand and our intellectual property rights. Nowadays, with concerted effort of all the Maos, Maojia Restaurant must grow even larger and longer.