In recent years, more and more companies have begun to target their IPO.
IPO is one of the best ways for enterprises to achieve their long-term goals. Enterprises can attract more investors through IPOs, expand their business, and enhance their visibility and brand value. In addition, companies can also reduce their tax burden through IPOs.
However, Tianjin Tongrentang Group Co., Ltd. (referred to as "Tianjin Tongrentang") and the sponsor Minsheng Securities have recently taken the initiative to request the withdrawal of registration application documents, and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange has decided to terminate the company's issuance registration process in accordance with regulations.
Tianjin Tongrentang has 53 patents and 122 registered trademarks
On June 28, 2021, the company's application for IPO on the ChiNext board was accepted; On July 17th of the same year, received the first round of inquiries; The company was originally scheduled to hold a meeting for review on August 31, 2022, but was subsequently cancelled; On September 7, 2023, Tianjin Tongren took the initiative to withdraw its order, and its IPO on the ChiNext came to a halt.
Tianjin Tongren's main business is the R&D, production and sales of traditional Chinese patent medicines and simple preparations. Its products cover eight dosage forms, including tablet, hard capsule, granule, syrup, oral liquid, oral solution, rubber paste, and powder. The treatment fields include kidney diseases in the urinary system, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, and peripheral vascular diseases.
According to the application documents, Tianjin Tongrentang has a total of 53 patents, including 29 invention patents; There are a total of 122 registered trademarks, among which "Tianjin Tongrentang Co., Ltd. (registered trademark: Sun)" and "Tianjin Hongrentang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (registered trademark: Honghua Brand)" are among the first batch of "Chinese time-honored brands" recognized by the Ministry of Commerce.
Trademark infringement disputes have received special attention from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange
Previously, regarding the infringement dispute over the trademark and trade name of "Tongrentang", Beijing Tongrentang filed a lawsuit against Tianjin Tongren with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court and released a statement on its official website. It is reported that among the "Chinese time-honored brands" recognized by the Ministry of Commerce in 2006, Tianjin Tongren obtained the brand name "Tianjin Tongrentang" and Beijing Tongrentang obtained the brand name "Tongrentang".
In response, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange requires Tianjin Tongren to clarify whether there is a situation where the word "Tongrentang" is highlighted in product packaging or commercial promotion, taking into account the fact that its enterprise name contains the word "Tongrentang"; The legality and compliance of its enterprise name and "Tianjin Tongrentang" brand acquisition; Analyze and explain the focus of litigation disputes, potential loss risks, and impact on daily production and operation between Beijing Tongrentang and Tianjin Tongren regarding the trademark infringement dispute case of "Tongrentang".
In addition, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange also requires the company to analyze and explain the impact of the lawsuit dispute with Beijing Tongrentang on the company's ownership and use of the "Tianjin Tongrentang" brand and existing enterprise name, and whether it complies with the relevant provisions of the "Measures for the Registration and Administration of Initial Public Offerings of Stocks on the Growth Enterprise Market (Trial)".
Usually, most companies encounter trademark disputes mainly due to reasons such as failure to register the trademark on their main business in a timely manner before an IPO, the lack of distinctiveness of the logo used by the company's main business, and the suspected infringement of others' prior rights by the logo used by the company.
How to layout intellectual property rights when enterprises impact IPO
To successfully pass the IPO challenge, enterprises need to plan and layout their intellectual property in advance to avoid making intellectual property a "stumbling block" on the way to an IPO.
One is to layout in advance.
Firstly, companies planning to go public should effectively strengthen independent innovation, continuously increase research and development investment, and truly form their own core technologies and products to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Science and Technology Innovation Board for the innovation attributes of enterprises.
Secondly, it is necessary to effectively enhance the awareness of intellectual property rights, formulate effective corporate intellectual property strategies for various types of intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and technical secrets, and conduct a comprehensive intellectual property layout around the core technology and products of the enterprise.
Finally, it is necessary to apply for intellectual property registration in advance, and to plan and layout intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents, and copyrights in advance. It is necessary to plan and prepare in advance.
The second is to conduct a comprehensive investigation.
Before submitting an IPO registration application, it is necessary to conduct intellectual property due diligence in advance and carefully investigate the risks and hidden dangers of intellectual property, especially whether the intellectual property rights of the enterprise, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, software copyrights, and technical secrets, involve the ownership, formation, disposal, and circulation of rights, with a focus on investigating whether the core technology has been fully patented and whether the intellectual property held is at risk of infringement, Does the intellectual property held have potential infringement and litigation risks.
The third is to proactively respond.
On the basis of fully conducting intellectual property retrieval and analysis, if enterprises find that intellectual property infringement disputes and litigation risks are inevitable, they need to develop contingency plans in advance, proactively respond, and flexibly adopt various means to resolve potential risks and contradictions.
To avoid intellectual property disputes or disputes with other companies during the listing period as much as possible, if risk is inevitable or disputes have already formed, the first step is to let go of oneself, actively communicate and negotiate with the other party, and strive to reach a settlement plan. For situations where a settlement cannot be reached or there may be malicious lawsuits from competitors, legal weapons should be taken to actively respond.
In short, enterprises should attach great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights from the beginning of establishment, and should not be limited to the immediate situation. They should do a good job in the construction, planning, and protection of trademarks, patents, and copyrights, which is the true preparation for the future.
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