A court ruling that French sportswear retailer Lacoste infringed the trademark rights of Singaporean company Crocodile International Pte Ltd by using its crocodile logo unlawfully has been thrown out by a court in Shanghai.

Shanghai's Higher People's Court rejected the ruling that Lacoste must compensate Crocodile and publicly apologise for misuse of its logo.

Instead it said that the case should be dealt with under trademark law instead of in a lawsuit.

Crocodile and Lacoste, which have been engaged in rows over the Crocodile logo in the past, have both sold clothes with the logo in question for over a decade in China. Lacoste has attempted to register a number of variations of its logo to stop counterfeit clothing makers from selling copies of it.

Crocodile claims that Lacoste has indulged in repeated attempts to use the logo illicitly.

The main difference between the company's logos is that Crocodile's logo faces left while Lacoste's faces right.