Feb 14, 2022

A Bi(n)g Slippery Slope

A man has been imprisoned in Beijing for alleged copyright infringement of the winter Olympic panda mascot Bing Dwen Dwen (“Bing”).

Authorities in China are cracking down on intellectual property infringement, especially in relation to the Olympics. Those who are illegally capitalising on the Olympic mascot may be subject to harsh penalties for infringing intellectual property rights.

Bing is the new Olympic mascot for winter sports. Bing wears a full body suit made of ice, helping the panda skate, snowboard and ski. Although “Bing” has several meanings in Mandarin, the most common meaning is “ice” whilst “Dwen Dwen” represents children.

The suspect, who is yet to be named, was sentenced to one year in prison and a 40,000 yuan fine (the equivalent to just over £4,500.00) for producing and selling counterfeit toys of Bing Dwen Dwen. This comes as a firm warning to anybody seeking to infringe Olympic related intellectual property rights in China.

The China National Intellectual Property Administration has rejected over 400 attempted trade mark applications for Olympic-related marks including “Bing Dwen Dwen”. The deputy director of the copyright bureau of the Chinese Publicity Department confirmed that any infringement which harms public interest will be subject to administrative punishment, further, in the event a crime in committed, this will be investigated.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: EU/International, Legal News, News, Trade Marks

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