27 November 2015Trademarks

Chinese hotels fined over ‘misleading’ Disney TM use

The Chinese government has reportedly fined five hotels that were found to be using Disney’s trademarks.

The hotels, in Shanghai, used the Chinese characters for ‘Disney’ on their signs, websites and on electronic displays in the hotel lobbies without authorisation.

Early next year a Disney theme park is due to open in the city and China’s government announced earlier this month that it would be providing “special protection” to Disney’s trademarks ahead of the opening.

The hotels, owned by the Shenzhen Vienna Hotels Group in the city’s Pudong district, were fined a combined RMB100,000 ($15,600), according to China’s Xinhua news agency.

“Some of the hotels are more than 10km away from Disneyland. They misdirect customers … This kind of behaviour exploits Disney’s trademarks and goodwill and will cause real damage to its trademarks,” Xinhua quoted regulators as saying.

The plan to protect Disney’s trademarks, outlined by China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce, will see the department carry out a year-long campaign to crack down on Disney counterfeits and create “emergency teams” to help protect Disney’s trademarks.

The operation will run until October 2016.

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