Posted by Jeremy Goldkorn on Monday, December 4, 2006 at 10:53 AM
Michael Rank is a China specialist for Trade Marks Directory Service (TMDS), a company that works for brands by examining newly published trademark applications from across the globe. Below are some dodgy trademark applications they discovered in China.
Nike – running water or running shoes? And Beckham’s 20:20 vision
Nike is of course a well-known brand in China, not least because vast amounts of its products are manufactured in the People’s Republic. One businessman in Guangdong has interestingly applied to use the word Nike, in English and Chinese, for toilets, bathtubs and taps (will Nike water supplies be next?).
Another audacious entrepreneur in Jiangsu has taken Nike at their word by using their slogan “Just do it” in English and Chinese, for his television business. He has translated “Just do it” as 'mashang xingdong or “Do it at once” and replaces the Nike ‘swoosh’ with 3 arrows. It still captures the spirit pretty accurately and Nike are unlikely to be amused by his shamelessness in stealing their catchphrase.
Whilst on the subject of sport and televisions - famed footballer David Beckham isn’t sacrosanct in China either.
In fact, one Chinese businessman in Fujian has tried to get away with calling his range of waterproof clothing Davee Beekham, while another in Wenzhou in Zhejiang has treated the ex-England captain’s name with due respect, in his trademark application for spectacles, sunglasses and contact lenses in English and Chinese (“Dawei Beikehamu”). I’m sure Mr Beckham’s sponsors will have a few thoughts on this application too!
You can find out more about Trade Marks Directory Service here, or by emailing email@example.com
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