Image: mkhmarketing Image: mkhmarketing

Facebook has once its legal case against a Chinese company that registered "face book" as a different trademark.

Zhongshan Pearl River registered "face book" in 2014, but a Beijing court ruled that it had "violated moral principles" with "obvious intention to duplicate and copy from another high-profile trademark".

The Chinese public is not allowed to use Facebook, leading some commentators to speculate that the court may rule against Facebook. But, following the result, they are suggesting that China's stance on Facebook is softening.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently met with China's propaganda chief Liu Yunshan and Alibaba founder Jack Ma in what many are calling a 'charm offensive' to get the Chinese government to allow Facebook.

Just last week, Apple lost its own trademark battle in China. Xintong Tiandi, which makes handbags and other leather products, registered "IPHONE" in 2010. Apple registered the "iPhone" trademark in 2002, but it was only approved in 2013.

Western businesses often have trouble winning trademark cases in China because they have to prove that the brand or product is well-known in China.