BEIJING, July 16, (Xinhuanet) -- Claiming copyright
infringement, a Beijing designer is suing Nike over an television ad broadcast
around the world, according to Friday's China Daily.
stickman in a recent advertisement of Nike pirated a logo of my serial Flash
works," 28-year-old Zhu Zhiqiang said.
Zhu Zhiqiang, a Chinese designer
widely known as Xiaoxiao on the Internet, said the stickman in a recent
advertisement of Nike pirated a logo of his serial Flash works.
Zhu, who is widely known as Xiaoxiao on Internet,
asked for 2 million yuan (US$240,000) in compensation from Nike as well as
Flash is computer software often used to design
The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court held the
first hearing Thursday.
Sources with the famous sports wear company denied
"The small man figure created by the plaintiff and
his gestures are absolutely different from Nike's stickman," said Nike's lawyer
"I was told by friends last year that my logo had
been used by Nike in its advertisement overseas," he said.
The ad was also broadcast in domestic television
stations, Zhu said.
"My commercial interests out of the logo, which was
registered in the year 2000 for copyright protection, have been severely damaged
due to Nike's illegal use." .
Zhu said he was negotiating with a publisher to
release a book based on the birth of the little man logo when the Nike
advertisement was first broadcast in Beijing last year.
"Negotiation stopped due to the advertisement," he
Zhang, the intellectual property rights (IPR) agent
representing Nike, said in court Thursday that Nike takes IPR very seriously.
"As one of the world biggest sports wear producers,
Nike is devoted to protection of IPR and respects others' rights."
He said the stickman was independently designed by
the advertisement company Wieden & Kennedy in 2002. Nike spent some 25
million yuan (US$3 million) on the design.
"According to agreement between Nike and the
designer, Nike owns the copyright of the advertisement," Zhang said.
"It is obvious that the plaintiff intended to promote
himself and his Flash works by accusing a famous multi-national company," he
Zhu did not deny the charge Thursday but said Nike
wanted to use the logo to boost the company's popularity among young people.
"This is because my logo and works are well-known in
that group," he said.
Zhu first started using the small stick man in 1989
when he was still a student, the indictment said.
He said he was one of the first people in China to
"My Flash works are so warmly welcomed by netizens
that I have received more than 30,000 letters from them since 2000," Zhu said.
Nike, however, holds Zhu's stickman cannot be
protected by copyright because it lacks originality, Zhang said.
The law says originality refers to independent
design, instead of copying others' works or images in public domain, he said.
"From mural and stone paintings in ancient times to
Sherlock Holmes stories, the logo has been used repeatedly," he said.
"This is obviously a logo usually used in the public
The court reached no decision Thursday. Both parties
are now waiting on a date to be set for the next hearing. Enditem