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China: Around The Nation

Is there something fishy about this Shanghai sushi restaurant?

Authorities investigate claims an eatery in the city is trading on the name of a Michelin-starred Japanese outlet

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2017, 5:57pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2017, 5:57pm

Authorities in Shanghai are investigating whether a local eatery is guilty of a trademark infringement involving a Michelin-starred Japanese sushi restaurant, local media reported.

The Chinese company, Sushi Ichi, has been in operation since 2011 and for several years had a business relationship with the aggrieved party, Ginza Sushi Ichi, Thepaper.cn reported on Tuesday.

However, the Japanese company said that it did not have any outlets in Shanghai and that the local restaurant was trading on its name.

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The complaint was first issued last year, while a new statement, in which Ginza Sushi Ichi asked Sushi Ichi to “respect history and reality” was made on Tuesday, the report said.

A representative of the Shanghai restaurant denied there had been a trademark infringement.

“When our shop first opened in early 2011, we cooperated with Ginza Sushi Ichi, but that relationship ended in 2014. Since then, we have never promoted our shop using the Ginza Sushi Ichi name,” he said.

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The two sushi restaurants ended their cooperation due to disagreements over management, the report said.

“If the Shanghai restaurant only registered ‘Sushi Ichi’ as its name, it does not have any legal problems,” an unnamed lawyer was quoted as saying.

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“[Just because] a restaurant name is registered in Japan it doesn’t mean that a Chinese restaurant can’t also register it,” the person said.

The investigation is being conduced by the Market and Quality Supervision Commission of Shanghai, the report said.