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Chinese and US laws surrounding trademark protection of film titles and other related issues in the entertainment industry are increasingly converging, says Seagull Haiyan Song, professor of Loyola Law School Los Angeles.
The year 2015 was a prosperous one for the Chinese film industry. China’s film box office exceeded $6.8 billion—an almost 50% increase from 2014. Local productions contributed to more than 61% of the total revenue. It is estimated that China will surpass the US and become the number one box office by revenue by 2018.
It was also a monumental year for Chinese entertainment law. The success at the box office and local productions brought about a record number of cases before the Chinese courts, many of which are of potential interest to general entertainment law practices.
They include the substantial similarity test in copyright infringement cases (Chiung Yao v Yu Zheng, Beijing High Court), protection of movie titles (Huaqi v Enlight Media, Beijing High Court), protection of story characters (Blizzard Entertainment v Shanghai Youyi Games, Shanghai 1st Intermediate Court), protection of privacy (Yang Jiang v Sungari Auction, Beijing High Court, 2014), and the treatment of the freedom of speech and the public’s right to information (Fang Zhou-Zi v Cui Yong-Yuan, Beijing 1st Intermediate Court; and World Luxury Association v The Beijing New Press, Beijing 3rd Intermediate Court).
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Seagull Haiyan Song, Loyola Law School Los Angeles, Hogan Lovells, trademark, Lanham Act,