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24 August 2020
Marlon Brando is widely considered to be one of the most significant actors of the 20th century.
In December 2017 a company applied to register the trademark MARLON BRANDO and the Chinese equivalent in respect of goods in Class 3 – including "after-sun moisturisers, hair conditioners [and] hair masks" – in China.
BRANDO ENTERPRISES, LP, which manages the late actor's estate, raised oppositions against the applied-for trademarks.
In China, an individual's name right is no longer protectable after their death. Although Brando passed away in July 2004, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) rejected the trademark applications. The CNIPA held that, in light of Brando's unrivalled reputation, the registration and use of the trademarks would likely create an association between the relevant goods and Brando that would confuse consumers and negatively influence public interest and order, and therefore violate Article 10.1.8 of the Trademark Law.
For further information on this topic please contact Qingqing Sang at Wanhuida Intellectual Property by telephone (+86 10 6892 1000) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Wanhuida Intellectual Property website can be accessed at www.wanhuida.com.
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