BEIJING, Dec. 24 -- Despite two separate appeals, the
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Press will not be allowed to continue
publishing Peter Rabbit books.
Officials from the publisher said the decision that it will keep its books of the famous character off the shelf was contradictory.
The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court ruled
yesterday that the press did not violate nine of 11 trademarks owned by British
Frederick Warne & Company Ltd, which owns Petter Rabitt.
Still, the court did not rule on whether the Chinese
press had violated the other two trademarks.
Instead, it referred to a previous judgment last week
which upheld the administrative decision to pull the books off the market.
The case started last year when Warne & Company
complained the Chinese press violated its trademarks.
In April 2003, the Chinese press published 19 stories
created by American writer Beatrix Potter.
The local bureau of industry and commerce seized more
than 20,000 Peter Rabbit books and fined the publisher 358,000 yuan (US$43,000)
in August 2003.
But the publisher hit back, suing both the bureau and
Warne & Company.
Last week, the court upheld the decision of the
Xicheng Branch of the Beijing Municipal Administration for Industry and
Commerce. In effect, the court said the Chinese publisher violated copyright.
Late American writer Beatrix Potter, who died in
1943, created Peter Rabbit.
Between 1994 and 1997, the British company registered
the 11 trademarks on Potter's creation, two of which are on Peter Rabbit and
another nine on related characters.
According to the Chinese law, copyright ends five
decades after the death of the author.
(Source: China Daily)