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Facebook Scores Rare Legal Win in China

FILE - The Facebook logo is seen enlarged through glasses on a computer screen.

Facebook has won a rare trademark lawsuit in China over the use of a version of its name by a Chinese beverage maker.

The Beijing Higher People's Court ruled that Pearl River Drinks should not be allowed to register the trademark "face book" and that using it on labels of foods and beverages was an obvious act of copying that hurt market competition.

Neither Facebook nor Pear River Drinks were available for comment.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives have made efforts to woo Chinese officials. Zuckerberg had a rare meeting with China's propaganda czar Liu Yunshan, suggesting a warming of relations between the social media giant and China.

FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Despite the court victory, Facebook and other foreign websites continue to be blocked in China by what has become known as the "Great Firewall."

Zuckerberg has become a celebrity in China by making speeches in Mandarin and running through noxious smog in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

The Facebook decision comes weeks after a court ruled against technology giant Apple in a similar suit over its iPhone brand. Apple has said it will take its case to China's Supreme People's Court.