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Japanese Crayon Shin-chan Publisher Sues 3 Chinese Firms

posted on by Justin Sevakis
Futabasha Publishing Ltd. alleges trademark violation, seeks damages

Futabasha, the original Japanese publisher of the late Yoshito Usui's Crayon Shin-chan manga, has filed a lawsuit against three Chinese companies with the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court. According to the court, the company alleges that the companies have been illegally using the name and likeness of the manga's title kindergartener Shin-chan, and seeks damages from each company of more than 1.6 million yuan (US$254,031).

Futabasha states that it had discovered Shanghai Enjia Economic and Trade Co. had been selling Shin-chan products bearing the character's likeness and Chinese name in 2004. However, Shanghai Enjia states that it had purchased rights to the name and images from two other companies, Guangzhou Chenyi Optical Co and Jiangsu Province-based Shifu Economic Development Co. All three companies are named in the suit, but only Shanghai Enjia appeared in court at a February 15 hearing.

Futabasha had previously lost a Chinese court case in 2009, wherein the company tried to repeal a trademark granted for the character with a Chinese company, who had been selling rights to the name and likeness since 1996. The Chinese court ruled against the publisher, stating that the five-year limit for disputing a trademark had passed.

Source: Shanghai Daily

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