'Obama OFC' a hot topic on Internet

Updated: 2011-10-10 14:53


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'Obama OFC' a hot topic on Internet

Signage from the “Obama OFC” restaurant shot on Oct 5. [Internet photo] 

A small restaurant in Beijing, dubbed “Obama OFC” by netizens has bowed to pressure from fast-food giant KFC and changed its name to UFO, after having sparked a hot discussion on the Internet recently, reported Beijing Times.

The signboard of the restaurant initially bore the letters ‘OFC’ and a likeness image of United States president Barack Obama.

KFC published a statement saying OFC had infringed the right of trade mark and threatened to resort to legal action.

Many netizens took to their micro blogs to criticize the restaurant, which also sells hamburgers, saying that it was a copycat of KFC. However, the restaurant was praised by some for its creative idea, dubbing it “a flagship restaurant of Obama OFC”.

The idea is creative and the use of a likeness image rather than photo does not necessarily infringe the right of portrait, China News said, citing anonymous observers.

Amid the online debates about infringement and ‘business innovation’, the owners of the restaurant changed the name from “OFC” to “UFO” when it opened business on Oct 8.

“We changed the name in fear of infringing other’s right”, said Zhu Baolai, one of the owners, who are all university students. They run the restaurant in their spare time.

Obama’s image is frequently seen on souvenirs or commodities, such as T shirts, bottles, shoes or sculptures.