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