Will Facebook soon be exempt from the Great Firewall of China?

Facebook scores copyright victory against Chinese company

Facebook has scored a notable victory in its copyright battle against a Chinese firm, which wanted to use the company's branding on various drinks products.

The social networking company took its case to the Beijing Municipal High People's Court, after two separate appeals to the country's Trademark Review and Adjudication Board failed.

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The Zhongshan Pearl River Drinks company's use of the name 'Face Book' on its drinks was judged to be a violation of the social network's copyright.

According to Chinese copyright law, a company must prove that its brand was well-known in the country before a potentially infringing claim was filed.

This has been hailed as a victory for the social network, which is still blocked for Chinese citizens inside the country.

Zuckerberg has been attempting to get this ban lifted, and some local news outlets have taken it as a sign that the site will soon be exempt from China's notorious state censorship.

If true, it opens up one of the largest emerging markets in the world, and could see the company propelled to new heights. Residents currently use local alternatives, such as Weibo and RenRen.

The verdict comes just days after Apple lost a similar case to prevent a Chinese leather goods manufacturer from using the 'IPHONE' name on its products.

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Despite the fact that the iPhone is one of the most popular devices in China, the court ruled that the brand was not well-known enough when leather goods company Xintong Tiandi filed for the trademark in 2007.

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