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Chinese court protects names of multinationals
A Beijing court Wednesday ordered two Chinese companies to cancel their registered Internet domain names containing names or acronyms of 11 famous foreign companies.
According to a ruling by the Beijing Municipal No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, since 1998, Guangzhou-based Yuejing Information Network Co. and Beijing Guowang Information Co. have registered "with hostile intent" domain names the same as those of 11 multinationals.
The registered names include kfc.com.cn, which makes fast food lovers think of Kentucky Fried Chicken; ups.com.cn, which could be mistaken for United Parcel Service; pepsi.com.cn, cocacola.com.cn -- just like the popular soft drinks; and nike.com.cn, which sports enthusiasts would recognize as sporting goods giant Nike.
According to the court ruling, the acts of the two Chinese firms constitute unfair competition as they have violated the legitimate rights of noted international companies. Domain names have the similar function of identification as trademarks, the court said.
The two Chinese companies were ordered by the court to cancel the domain names within 10 days after the ruling. No further punishment was included in the ruling.
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