The restaurant, named “HBO Studio Restaurant”, has been in business for about five years, and registered the trademark HBO on July 4, 2012, earlier than the US company’s registration in China.
The co-owner of the restaurant Zhang Jian said that his establishment is not acting unlawful in any way, since it is active in the catering industry, while the US company focuses on the film and television industry. There is no direct conflict of interest in this case, according to Zhang.
HBO sent a legal notice to the restaurant, together with documents to back up its trademark infringement claims, undoubtedly stating that HBO is a very well-known trademark.
It is now up to a Chinese court to decide if the restaurant indeed infringes upon HBO’s trademark in China.