CHINA / index

'Three-alls' to be trademarked by Japanese firm
By Li Qian (
Updated: 2006-08-10 17:15

The 'three-alls', which was a policy of "burn all, kill all, loot all" that Japanese invading troops implemented during World War II in China, is under application for registry as a trademark in China by Japanese company Fujian Industry Co Ltd (Fujian Chanye Zhushihuishe), the Contemporary Gold newspaper reported Thursday.

Ma, a manager at the Yujia Trademark Office in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, was surprised to see the 'three-alls' on the list of brand applications on the Internet Wednesday morning, with the applicant being a Japanese company.

According to the law, newly applied trademarks have to go through a final stage of being displayed on a notice list for three months before they are officially registered. If there are no disputes or disagreements from others towards the brand name during this period, it would be accepted as a trademark.

"There are only 19 days until the deadline on Aug 28," Ma said. "Everyone with faintest knowledge of history knows what the 'three-alls' means. But the company is planning to use the phrase to promote 'medicine, officinal drinks and nutrients for human use'".

"Regardless of the company's motivation, it is inappropriate for a multinational company to register a controversial and unprofitable trademark," Ma added.

The Trademark Law of the PRC states any item implying discrimination towards the nation or is harmful to social morality must not be registered as a trademark. Under this law, Ma says, the 'three alls' trademark is illegal.

Now Ma has announced his opposition to the three-alls to the authorities, claiming the item might result in a bad effect on society. But he is still worried the brand might be accepted if he loses the argument against his opposition.

The company that helped the Japanese company register, told the paper Wednesday that they were just the business deputy, and the agent was eligible to apply for any brand name they wanted.

An anonymous official with the Trademark Association of China believes the 'three-alls' would have been an ordinary trademark if it had been applied for by a company from another country instead of Japan.

All citizens interviewed on the streets by the paper were against the 'three-alls' being registered.

A man surnamed Yang said he was happy that the application has been questioned, because most people had no way to be informed about the notice list.

Another woman was doubtful of the company's motivation in using such a trademark. "Everyone knows the meanings of the expression," she said. "All Chinese people will fight against it."

The 'three-alls' policy was used by Japanese troops when they invaded Northern China starting in October of 1938. Under the policy, 3.2 million people were killed, 50 million livestock were slaughtered, and 89.5 million homes were burned to the ground from 1938 and 1945 in Northern China alone, according to incomplete statistics.