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IP regulator issues statement on malicious registration using Olympic athletes' names

By Cao Yin | | Updated: 2021-08-19 21:24
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China's top intellectual property regulator rejected 109 applications for trademark registration using names of Olympic athletes on Thursday in a bid to protect the name rights of public figures.

The National Intellectual Property Administration issued a statement via its account on WeChat, a popular instant messaging tool, identifying some enterprises who attempted to maliciously use the names of Olympic players to apply for trademarks.

The behavior, which is to benefit from others' reputation, has not only harmed Olympic athletes' rights and interests, but also brought negative effects to society, according to the note.

It said the administration will intensify efforts to fight malicious trademark registrations and keep a sound business environment, adding applicants or agencies that use improper means to apply for trademarks will be punished in line with the law.

On Wednesday, the Chinese Olympic Committee called for a halt to improper trademark registrations using the names of Olympic players, including Yang Qian, Chen Meng and Quan Hongchan.

Without getting permission from the Olympic athletes or guardians of players who are minors, no one should maliciously register their names as trademarks or take other action infringing on the right of their names or other rights, the committee said.

Malicious trademark registrations are generally considered applications that violate the principles of legitimacy and good faith, including trademark squatting, appropriation and imitation, infringements of others' prior rights, misuse of public resources, and massive or repeated registrations in bad faith.

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