After a recent Beijing court ruling, Amazon can no longer use the abbreviation ‘AWS’ in China. According to the court, the software company which holds the trade mark rights of the abbreviation is ActionSoft Science & Technology Development (AWS in China).
The online retailer made use of the trade mark to offer their ‘Amazon Web Services’, however, cannot currently abbreviate the latter or use anything which closely resembles the software company’s trade mark. Nevertheless, after the judgment, the company still barred the AWS logo on their site, alongside a disclaimer that they are using it as an abbreviation, and not as a trade mark.
Furthermore, Amazon insists that it was the first to make use of the logo in China and strongly disagrees with the court’s ruling. This has since been contradicted by China’s trade mark database, as ActionSoft registered the trade mark back in 2004, whereas Amazon only began using it in China in 2012. As a result of the infringement, the dominant retailer has been ordered to pay £812.5 million in compensation. Since then, Amazon has appealed the matter to the Supreme People’s Court in the hope of a different outcome. It is safe to say the company will face difficulty in turning this matter around.
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