January 13, 2017 — The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in China on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, held a press conference relating to trademark approvals. The court issued a document stating that the names of public figures are not allowed to be used as trademarks.
The new rules state that trademarking public figures’ names is forbidden in accordance with the trademark law, due to the “negative influence” on the public interest and social order that it could cause. It also states that if the trademark makes the public think of the name of a public figure, the trademark violates the law.
Well-known names in films such as “007”, “Kung Fu Panda”, “the Monkey King” are also forbidden from being trademarked according to the SPC.
“The document has shown the judicial authorities’ determination in protecting an honest business environment and dealing with malicious trademark infringements,” said Song Xiaoming with the SPC.