Burberry has appealed against a decision by the China Trademark Office to cancel trademark protection for its distinctive tartan pattern for leather goods in the country.

Chinese fashion firm Polo Santa Roberta (PSR), which Burberry has successfully challenged for infringing its trademark several times, launched a legal battle after the luxury retailer had not used the pattern for three years which was upheld by the China Trademark Office.

Lawyers for PSR argued that Burberry was monopolising part of Scotland’s cultural heritage.

The trademark is still intact and Burberry is now launching appeal.

Burberry said in a statement: “Ahead of a decision on this appeal, the cancellation decision does not take effect and there is no change to Burberry’s use or enforcement of its trademark across leather or any other products. We are confident that our appeal will be successful. 

“The Burberry Check remains a registered trade mark exclusively owned by Burberry and no other parties can use the mark without Burberry’s proper authorisation. Burberry always takes the strongest possible action against those who use its trade marks unlawfully.”

If the appeal is unsuccessful it could damage Burberry’s standing in China as a flood of new products using its signature check design could confuse consumers and harm the brand.

Burberry’s sales soared 20% in China last year. The luxury retailer has 71 stores in China, and also employs Mandarin-speaking sales staff in all of its European flagship stores to attract affluent Chinese tourists.