'Black Cat Detective' trademark application rejected again
Deng Junfang

Chinese household animation "Black Cat Detective" made headlines again recently due to a trademark application dispute.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Tuesday denied retrial of a trademark application case brought up by Shanghai Animation Film Studios (SAFS), which produced the cartoon series in the 1980s.

Back in June 2018, SAFS applied to register "Black Cat Detective" as a trademark for "drama production and training" services. However, the Trademark Office of National Intellectual Property Administration dismissed the appeal as a person surnamed Fang already registered the trademark for similar services in 2011. Fang owns the trademark from February 14, 2012 to February 13, 2022.

"Black Cat Detective" themed store in Shanghai. /VCG Photo

"Black Cat Detective" themed store in Shanghai. /VCG Photo

SAFS insisted it has the priority right over the trademark as it produced the cartoon series. Therefore, it applied for judicial review in January but China's National Intellectual Property Administration denied the request for the same reason. The SAFS then brought up the case to the Beijing Intellectual Property Court.

The five-episode "Black Cat Detective," aired between 1984 and 1987, is one of the oldest Chinese cartoon TV series and won many national-level awards. It tells the story of how a brave and smart black cat detective cracks criminal cases and brings peaceful life to the animals living in the forest.

Dai Tielang, the director and scriptwriter the series, died of illness at the age of 89 on September 4.