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Chinese firms use Bruce Lee name without family OK
Posted on Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 6:57 am
by IDMA Editor

BEIJING Chinese firms and individuals are using martial arts legend Bruce Lee's name and image without his family's authorisation to sell everything from noodles to toothbrushes, state media said.

A team put together by the star's daughter Sharon has done a nationwide search and discovered his Chinese name -- Li Xiaolong -- has been registered as a trademark for several products, the official China Daily reported.

Photo of Shannon Lee - daughter of Bruce Lee

She was quoted as saying that Chinese companies and individuals had also used the image of the "Enter the Dragon" star, who died of brain swelling at the peak of his film career in 1973 aged just 32.

A report in the Southern Daily newspaper said she had held talks with officials in Shunde in the southern province of Guangdong, the martial arts star's ancestral home.

The city has already built "Li Xiaolong Paradise," a giant memorial hall devoted to Lee's life, martial arts and acting career.

The report said Lee's daughter was looking for the local government to hand the trademark back to the family and the Bruce Lee Foundation, which seeks to preserve the actor's legacy.

Calls to Shunde's government and market safety authority went unanswered on Wednesday.

According to the China Daily, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce -- which is in charge of protecting trademarks -- recently made it clear that Lee's Chinese and English names belonged to his heirs.

The agency ruled that other applications to use the name currently being processed would be rejected, the report said.

Intellectual property rights (IPR) are widely flouted in China, which is home to the biggest counterfeit and piracy market in the world.

The nation's State Council, or cabinet, announced last month that it would launch a six-month crackdown on IPR infringement, which it said "upset the market's normal order... and hurt China's image abroad."

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