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Trademark speculators bet on Olympic Games

By Zheng Xin (China Daily)

13:23, August 28, 2012

In addition to the pride and glory Chinese Olympic champions brought to the motherland, they have also delivered unlimited business opportunities to the nation's merchants.

Since the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games in mid-August, professional trademark pre-emptors have been trying to capitalize on the names of Chinese Olympic champions, according to China's trademark authority.

"They are registering a trademark not for their own use, but in speculation on a potential appreciation in value, to sell later for illicit profit," said Zhang Liwei, head of an application examination office at the Trademark Appeal Board under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, during an interview with China Central Television.

While the office does not yet have information on trademark applications made on athletes' names during the Games, it says that applications were filed years ago on the names of many of the Chinese Olympic champions who rose to sudden stardom in August.

According to the office's trademark inquiry website, the name of Sun Yang — winner of individual titles in the men's 400-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle swimming in London and the first Chinese man ever to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming — was registered in August 2011 by a health products company in Zhengzhou, Henan province.

The trademark office is examining the application. If it is approved, the company will be entitled to use the trademark for sports products.

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