French food company Groupe Danone SA has filed a counterclaim with an arbitrator in the eastern Chinese region of Hangzhou, rejecting statements made by the Wahaha Group, its joint venture partner with whom it is engaged in an acrimonious legal dispute.
 
Wahaha filed an arbitration claim on 14 June seeking termination of the trademark transfer agreement signed with the joint venture in 1996, saying the venture never formally and legally transferred the trademark from Wahaha Group.
 
Danone official Randall Lewis said that that the Danone joint venture with Wahaha had already paid US$6.6m in cash to Wahaha Group for the transfer of the trademark, and the transfer had been confirmed by the Hangzhou government.