China forbids trademarking names of public figures

Beijing, Jan 11 (IANS) China’s top court on Wednesday ruled that names of public figures in areas including politics, economy, culture and religion cannot be registered as trademarks.

The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) on Wednesday issued a document on handling cases involving trademark approval, Xinhua news agency said.

The new rules state that trademarking public figures’ names is forbidden in accordance with trademark law, due to the “negative influence” on the public interest and social order that it could cause.

“The document has shown the judicial authorities’ determination in protecting an honest business environment and dealing with malicious trademark infringements,” said Song Xiaoming with the SPC.