Businessman registers Yao Ming sanitary pad

(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-13 09:00

A Guangdong Province resident has applied to register the name of Chinese basketball star Yao Ming as a trademark for sanitary pads.

The application has won preliminary approval from China's trademark agency, which is scheduled to launch a three-month public notification on Tuesday.

However, there is little chance the trademark will be approved, according to the South Metropolis News, citing Huang Yimin, a trademark official with the business administration in Shenzhen, Guangdong.

"The application is doomed to fail if anybody, such as Yao, raises an objection during the three-month period," Huang was quoted as saying.

Even if the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce gives the go-ahead, Yao can still ask for the trademark to be canceled within five years of the approval, legal experts said.

The applicant, identified as Xiao Senwen, filed the application with the trademark agency in 2004. According to the Website of the Trademark Office, Xiao applied for the trademark to be used for a category of products that mainly consists of hygiene items like sanitary pads, diapers and napkins.

Xiao registered an address at 135 Dongfeng Road, the same as the government's of Zicheng Town, Zijin County. An official at the government identified as Ye said he had no colleague by the name of Xiao Senwen.

A Zicheng policeman surnamed Zhu said Xiao's ID number registered with the Trademark Office indicated Xiao was a local resident.

Zhu said many immigrants to Zijin County had registered their address as 135 Dongfeng Road.

Lu Hao, an executive at Yao Ming's business and consultancy group, Team Yao, said on Thursday the registration attempt had taken the team by surprise.

"The registration is obviously malicious. It goes too far," the newspaper quoted Lu as saying.

Without Yao's knowledge, the registration is considered malicious, Xiao Wenquan, a lawyer with the Shenzhen branch of the Beijing Weiheng Law Firm, said.

Lu said Team Yao had registered Yao Ming as a trademark for more than 20 categories of products, such as sportswear, since Yao joined the National Basketball Association in the United States in 2002.

Lu said Yao would hear about the registration soon and they would discuss the matter to settle it.

Zhang Mingji, another executive at Team Yao, said, "We'll foil any malicious registration" that involves the basketball superstar, according to the report.

Earlier this year the Trademark Office turned down the request of a businessman from Fujian Province to register the Chinese name for Channel 1 of China Central Television as a trademark for condoms.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours