Cai Dongqing founded Alpha Group, formerly known as Chenghai Auldey Toy Industrial Company, in 1993. During its first years of operation, the company started manufacturing toys, which would later provide a solid foundation for diversifying into other related business projects. Having gained experience in toy manufacturing, the Alpha Group expanded into animated cartoons, films, comics, games, theme parks and virtual reality.
Today, Alpha Group is the leading kids’ content provider and toy manufacturer in China, and one of the largest and most successful in Asia. They own top animation brands such as Super Wings, Katuri or Rev & Roll.
Along with their headquarters, toy factories and studios based in China, the company also has offices in Europe, North America, South-America and Asia.
In total, the company employs over 3.400 people.
Alpha Group has always devoted itself to building a genuine relationship with its customers through its brands, an ideal reflected in their motto: “We Share Fun and Dreams”. The company attaches great importance to brand building, brand promotion and providing good user experience. Over the past three decades, Alpha Group has created dozens of brands and hundreds of product names, including “Super Wings”, “Armor Hero”, “Screechers Wild” or “Blazing Teens”, to name a few.
The fast development of China’s e-commerce sector, accompanied by the country’s opening strategy, promoted the internationalization of Alpha Group’s brands. This made the group very aware of the need for a good international brand management system.
For instance, their animated cartoons are screened today in more than a hundred countries and regions in the world.
Over time, as the popularity of these series grew, so too did the demand for other merchandising products, such as toys or clothing. As a result, Alpha Group expanded into different countries, and different goods and products.
Developing peripheral products based on their traditional cartoon animations became the new adventure for Alpha Group.
Alpha Group has relied on the Madrid System for protection of its international registrations since the year 2000, when they protected their trademark “Auldey”, dedicated to toys. With time, Alpha Group has expanded its portfolio of international trademarks, which now covers 52 international registrations protected under WIPO’s Madrid System in 107 countries.
With each registration typically covering several dozen countries, the company faces considerable pressure in trademark management and making sure all its registrations remain secure and up to date. Using Madrid Monitor, the Alpha Group can quickly check the status of a given trademark in different countries. WIPO also sends notifications to keep users up-to-date about the status of their trademarks, which helps in the process of trademark monitoring.
WIPO helps Alpha Group save a lot, overcome the difficulties of trademark monitoring and relieve the pressures of trademark management. We cannot work without it.Mr. Ma, Director of Trademark and Copyright Department, Alpha Group
Another of the challenges that Alpha Group has had to face since their immersion into foreign markets is trademark infringement. Trademark infringement is an increasing problem, especially for animation companies and their cartoon characters. Alpha Group also faces big challenges in avoiding trademark squatting, a situation in which someone other than the original brand owner obtains a registration on a brand. This requires regular monitoring of trademarks, but often search results for the cartoon characters and names are not accurate, making this a difficult job for companies.
WIPO’s Global Brand Database provides access to the trademark collections of multiple countries, and can be used to search for images. It is as easy as uploading an image, adding filters to refine the search, and obtaining results in seconds. For companies such as Alpha Group, this greatly increases efficiency and saves time when monitoring trademarks to ensure there is no trademark infringement or fraudulent copies of its animation cartoons.
Super Wings, launched in 2013, is one of the best-known cartoon series owned by Alpha Group Co. Ltd. Targeting kids aged between three and six years old, its genre category falls between edutainment (educative entertainment) and adventure. The 12 minute-long episodes follow the adventures of Jett, the main character, as he delivers packages with the help of other characters.
This animated cartoon has been a great success for many years, and its related merchandise sells in more than 100 countries and regions. The first international registration created in 2016, included classes 9 and 28 (cartoons animations and toys) of the Nice Classification. In 2018, given the expansion of the trademark into other products – such as posters, stationary products, bicycles, textiles and household items – Alpha Group protected Super Wings under several other classes.
For two thirds of its adventure, Alpha Group has worked hand in hand with WIPO’s Madrid System to protect its brands and creations. While the countries where Alpha Group’s cartoons were present grew, so did the number of products that the company offered, which presented a challenge to ensure total intellectual property (IP) protection. However, with the help of the Madrid System, the Chinese group has built a strong portfolio, with over 50 trademarks registered in over 100 countries and in several classes, helping it to continue delivering quality content for the youngest.