Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, Russell Brown, Removed from Position as Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Beijing and His Consultancy No Longer Listed on LinkedIn or as Approved Employer of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
BEIJING, Oct. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Following in the wake of the UK based business GSK scandal in China, the recent arrest of UK national Peter Humphrey, and the murder of UK businessman Neil Heywood comes the involvement of Russell Brown, Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, in intellectual property infringement while simultaneously representing the British Chamber and the China Britain Business Council. In response to a ruling of the Higher People's Court of Beijing on April 25th, 2013, attorneys representing Home & Garden Limited (hereinafter "HGL") urged websites and online directories to remove any material representing the trademark "LehmanBrown" without the consent of HGL. Although HGL's attempts to contact British IP Attache Tom Duke have fallen upon deaf ears, long-time infringer, a Hong Kong Consultancy whose Legal Representative is Russell Peter Brown (hereinafter "the Consultancy"), has been removed from LinkedIn and the online directory of Approved Employers for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (hereinafter "ACCA"). Additionally, Legal Representative Russell Peter Brown, Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, has been removed from his position as Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Beijing.
In spite of the ruling of the Higher People's Court of Beijing on April 25th, 2013, the Consultancy continued to infringe upon the trademark "LehmanBrown" within its own website and throughout a multitude of online publications and online business directories. To the appreciation of LehmanBrown CPA (www.lehmanbrowncpa.com), a local Chinese accounting firm and the sole licensee of the trademark "LehmanBrown", the Consultancy's infringing postings, as an Approved Employer of the ACCA have been stricken from online directories for Beijing and Guangzhou.
English postings of the Consultancy were removed as Russell Peter Brown's organization has no granted English language marks in Mainland China or in Hong Kong. Moreover, Chinese listings of the Consultancy as an Approved Employer of ACCA were also taken down. Regardless, the Consultancy, and its Legal Representative Russell Peter Brown, continue to advertise their ACCA status in numerous publications online, including job postings from as recently as August 28, 2013. Also, a powerful regulatory body, the Public Accounting Oversight Board United States (PCAOBUS), is investigating the submission of annual reports by Russell Peter Brown, as Legal Representative of the Consultancy, which both infringe upon the trademark "LehmanBrown" and misrepresent the Consultancy and Russell Peter Brown's position therein.
In addition to the action taken by the ACCA, the Consultancy's LinkedIn page has also been removed and has given LehmanBrown CPA, the rightful licensee of the trademark "LehmanBrown," the opportunity to submit its own LinkedIn account and correct the misrepresentation that has seriously damaged and diluted the trademark. Despite the fact that over 50 employees of the Consultancy remain linked to the previously infringing and now inactive company page, claiming incorrectly to be employed by "LehmanBrown," this is a victory for LehmanBrown CPA, able now to rebuild its online presence and correct the public's perception of the trademark.
On top of representing the British Chamber of Commerce in China as Chairman, Russell Peter Brown was, up until recently, the Treasurer and Ball Chair of the Rotary Club in Beijing. Attorneys representing HGL sent letters to the Rotary Club of Beijing clarifying Russell Peter Brown's role as Legal Representative of an organization blatantly violating Chinese Trademark Law. Additionally, attorney letters detailed Russell Peter Brown's breach of the Codes of Ethics for multiple Accounting organizations including the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Helen Carter, Intellectual Property Manager for ICAEW, is currently investigating the Consultancy's infringing activity within their organization.
Following this news, the Rotary Club deactivated their website for over a month and worked to edit all information available to the public regarding Russell Peter Brown and the Consultancy. In time for the annual Charity Ball in November, the Rotary Club of Beijing has launched a new website in which Russell Peter Brown is no longer a Board Member or the Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Beijing.
The level of online infringement by the Consultancy and Russell Peter Brown, as Legal Representative, against the trademark "LehmanBrown" remains vast and it will require significant time and effort on behalf of LehmanBrown CPA to repair years of trademark infringement and misrepresentation. However, victories in the form of actions taken by large organizations like the ACCA, LinkedIn, and the Rotary Club of Beijing will lead ultimately to restoring the reputation of the "LehmanBrown" trademark.
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LEHMANBROWN® CPA knows well that the current unprecedented growth of China's economy means that the business environment – including the legal, accounting, and taxation systems – is also changing quickly. China is now an integral part of the global economy with its own special characteristics, and LEHMANBROWN® CPA's experts stand prepared to help clients succeed in this dynamic market.
The First Intermediate People's Court of Beijing
Judgment: [No.: (2011) Y.Z.Z.H.C.Zi No. 366]
The Higher People's Court of Beijing of the People's Republic of China Administrative Judgment [No.: (2012) G.H.Z.Zi No. 686] Administrative Judgment [No.: (2012) G.H.Z.Zi No. 690]
SOURCE LehmanBrown(R) CPA