* Foreign governments want China to get tougher on copyright
* China says it's taking the problem seriously
* Big brands/famous individuals have complained in the past
BEIJING, Dec 24 China plans to change the law to
crackdown on "malicious" trademark registrations, state media
said on Monday, after a series of cases in which well-know
international brands and individuals have had their names or
Foreign governments, including the United States, have for
years urged China to take a stronger stand against intellectual
property rights violations on products ranging from medicines to
software to DVD movies.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan is one of the latest to
accuse a company of using his name without permission, and
French luxury group Hermes International SCA and Apple
Inc have faced trademark problems too.
The proposed amendment will offer protection to major
international brands, giving copyright owners the right to ban
others from registering their trademarks or from using similar
ones, even if such trademarks are not registered, the official
Xinhua news agency reported.
"The draft is intended to curb the malicious registration of
trademarks," Xinhua said.
The country's legislature - which performs a largely rubber
stamp role - will discuss the amendment this week, it said,
without saying when the new rules could be put in place or
providing other details.
The move comes after basketball star Michael Jordan filed a
lawsuit in China in February against a Chinese sportswear
company, accusing the firm of unauthorised use of his name.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame recipient and
former Chicago Bulls star said that Qiaodan Sports, a company
located in the southern Fujian province, had built its business
around his Chinese name "Qiaodan" and jersey number without his
The lawsuit has yet to go to trial, Chinese media have
France's Hermes International SCA has also had
problems in China with its trademark, and in
July Apple Inc agreed to pay $60 million to Proview
Technology (Shenzhen) to end a protracted legal dispute over the
iPad trademark in China.
China has insisted it is serious about tackling intellectual