BEIJING, Sept. 21 -- Can Clinton overtake Trojan
The former US president is known for many things among the Chinese public, including his sexual peccadilloes and promotion of AIDS awareness and prevention.
But he may be surprised to know that his monicker is
now being used as a brand name by a condom manufacturer in southern China -
together with that of Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern with whom he had
Guangzhou Haojian Biotech Company recently announced
the launch of the Clinton and Lewinsky brands of condoms. General manager Liu
Wenhua proudly declared that his was the first company in China to have
registered an international celebrity's name as a trademark.
No, he did not need to pay a single penny to use the
names, he explained, because these are just "ordinary Western names" and having
them as trademarks would not constitute an infringement on intellectual property
Both brands are for males, with the former priced at
29.8 yuan (US$3.7) for a pack of a dozen and the latter 18.8 yuan (US$2.3) a
dozen. The "Clinton" is for the upscale market while the "Lewinsky" for the mass
market, Liu elaborated.
As if this were not enough to raise a few eyebrows,
Liu claimed that since last April, when the company could legally use the former
president's name, he had received an offer of 10 million yuan (US$1.23 million)
from a Beijing company for a transfer of name rights. "I said 'No way.' We're
not selling the brands for any price."
The condom packet comes with a card inside - one side
is a picture, in classic Chinese style, depicting an erotic pose, and on the
other an adult-themed joke.
One needs to buy 12 packs before collecting the whole
set of cards. It is intended to publicize a "healthy adult culture" and "impart
knowledge about sex and love," said Liu.
Hu Bingguang, an official with the Administration of
Press, Publication, Radio and Television of Guangzhou Municipality, said that it
would be "inappropriate" for a vendor to enclose pornographic pictures. But if
they were not for sale, it would be okay as long as the company files the card
with his office. However, Hu remarked that he had never seen such a filing.
Yao Jun, a Guangzhou-based attorney for H.J.M.
International Law Offices, which specializes in intellectual property rights
issues, doubts the claim that the two brands are registered.
"Filing for registration and being registered are two
Yao told China Daily that the law stipulates that no
trademark should violate public interest or the existing value system.
"The Clinton and Lewinsky brands can be rejected on
these grounds." Enditem
(Source: China Daily)