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Do film names have IPR?
www.chinaview.cn 2004-12-29 15:16:34

    BEIJING, Dec. 29 -- As names of some famous domestic films have been registered as brands by some companies, legal experts have warned that film makers should be aware of the commercial value of their movies and to protect their economic interests. CR I reporter Zhou Yun has more. 

    One after another, domestic companies in China take advantage of successful films and make their titles into brand names.

    Latching on to the astounding popularity of the film "Kung Fu Hustle", a Beijing paint company has taken the title and registered it as its brand name.
Another box office winner "A World Without Thieves" has also been registered as a brand name by a science and technology company in Beijing.

    By doing so, companies hope they can catch the eyes of potential consumers and, of course, sell more products.
Such behavior has aroused strong protests from filmmakers, who think the practice infringes on their intellectual property rights. As a result, several lawsuits have been filed.

    However, Li Mingzu a senior legal expert, says though the film itself is copyrighted material, current laws don't protect their names from being used.

    "According to verdicts of past cases, the use of a film name as a brand doesn't violate intellectual property laws. And film titles won't be protected by intellectual property right laws."

    However, Li Guoming, secretary-general of the China Filmmaker Association says film-makers still can better protect their own rights, if they can make good use of the added value of their works.

    "Our film-makers are not very clear how big their films' commercial values are. Their major income is ticket sales, however, foreign film makers go far beyond that." }

    He suggests Chinese film-makers seek to have their films published overseas or use film names for toy, costume and even software brands.

    (Source: CRIENGLISH.com)

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