LehmanBrown Sues Edward Lehman For Misappropriation and Infringement of Trademarks

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LehmanBrown issues High Court proceedings in Hong Kong against Edward Lehman, his wife and two of their associated companies seeking the recovery of its trademarks in both Hong Kong and Mainland China

LehmanBrown

LehmanBrown

LehmanBrown issued an Originating Summons claiming that Edward Lehman are guilty of misappropriating and infringing LehmanBrown’s Hong Kong and Chinese trademarks

LehmanBrown issued an Originating Summons in the High Court of Hong Kong on 20 April 2012 (court case number HCMP 775/2012) claiming that Edward Lehman, his wife Karolina Lehman, Union Trade Limited and/or Home & Garden Limited (both British Virgin Islands companies owned and/or controlled by Edward Lehman and/or his wife) are guilty of misappropriating and infringing LehmanBrown’s Hong Kong and Chinese trademarks and seeking a Court Order requiring those trademarks to be transferred to LehmanBrown.

Edward Lehman is the Managing Director and founding / senior partner of Lehman, Lee & Xu Patent and Trademarks Limited (“LLX”), a Mainland Chinese law firm which holds itself out as a law firm specializing in intellectual property law, including trademarks and patents, and which was responsible for filing these marks.

In November 2011, the Companies Court of the High Court of Hong Kong handed down a Judgment (Case Numbers: HCCW 377/2010 & HCCW 383/2010) in favour of Effiscient Limited (a Hong Kong company owned and controlled by Russell Brown and his wife Zhou Han Brown) in a dispute between the two shareholders (the other shareholder being a company owned and controlled by Lehman and/or his wife) in LehmanBrown, a leading China accounting, taxation and business advisory firm.

One of the matters in dispute in the shareholder action was the misappropriation of LehmanBrown’s marks, with Lehman denying whilst giving his sworn evidence under oath from the witness box at trial that he never signed an Irrevocable Agreement during November 2001 by which he agreed to transfer the Chinese mark to the company.

Hon. Harris J. stated the following in his Judgment in the shareholder action concerning the trademark issue:

“…His [Lehman’s] evidence was a fabrication produced in order to support his denial of signing the agreement in November 2001, which I find he did sign…I find that in breach of his agreement he misappropriated the Company’s [Chinese] trademark by transferring it to his Wife’s company, Home & Garden, and refused when requested, to cause it to be transferred to the Company”.

Hon. Harris J. also made a damages award (the amount of which is to be assessed) in favour of Effiscient in respect of the “Misappropriation and infringement of the trademark of the Company’s business name registered in the first instance by Mr. Edward Lehman.”

Effiscient is also awaiting the assessment of damages in the shareholder action in relation to the misappropriation of the company’s intellectual property.

In December 2010, a defamation Judgment was entered against Lehman in Hong Kong with damages to be assessed. (High Court of Hong Kong, case number HCA 959/2010).

In April 2011, Lehman was found to be in contempt of court in respect of his breach of a Hong Kong High Court Injunction Order made against him in the defamation proceedings, when he narrowly avoided a prison sentence and was fined HKD200,000 and ordered to pay the Plaintiffs HKD400,000 in costs. (High Court of Hong Kong, case numbersHCMP 2204/2010 & HCMP 2524/2011).

On 8 December 2011, Effiscient issued fresh committal proceedings against Lehman (to be heard during July 2012) as a consequence of further conduct by him during the trial of the shareholder action which Effiscient claims to be in further contempt of court. (High Court of Hong Kong, case numbers HCCW 377 & 378/2010 and CACV 140/2011).

About LehmanBrown

LehmanBrown is a leading China-focused accounting, taxation and business advisory firm. The company operates through offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Hong Kong, and employs around two hundred professionals throughout China, all of whom are English-Mandarin bi-lingual.

LehmanBrown is registered with the PCAOB in the USA. LehmanBrown is also an Accredited Employer and Training Partner of many top global accountancy institutes including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) and CPA Australia. LehmanBrown was the first CPA firm awarded ACCA China-wide Approved Platinum Employer.

Visit http://www.lehmanbrown.com
Media contacts

Hong Kong & Beijing – (English language): Christian Dougoud
EASTWEST Public Relations
E: christian (at) eastwestpr (dot) com M: +86 158 1036 5670

Hong Kong & Beijing – (Chinese language): Denise Chen
EASTWEST Public Relations
E: denise (at) eastwestpr (dot) com M: +86 158 0126 7735

Singapore: Laurent Decosse
EASTWEST Public Relations
E: Laurent (at) eastwestpr (dot) com M: +65 97 302 174

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Christian Dougoud
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