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'Forbidden City' to Defend Its Copyright
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China's imperial Palace Museum vowed Tuesday to take legal action to secure its intellectual rights involving the best-known Palace Museum and Forbidden City as the two names have been awarded "Name Brands of China."

Li Wenru, deputy curator of the Palace Museum, told a press conference that as the sole owner of the two brand names, the museum will use them across the spectrum, covering sightseeing and tourism, artworks assessment, exhibitions and publishing.

"Palace Museum" and "Forbidden City" are exclusively referred to in indicating the current site of the museum which served as an imperial palace for the two Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Between 1996 and 1998, the museum registered the two brand names at the State Administration for Industry and Commerce covering 15 categories of commodities and services.

Nevertheless, many companies and individuals have tried to register "Palace Museum" or "Forbidden City" as brand names for their own use with 20 such applications being announced in 2004 alone.

The Museum has discovered over 100 kinds of commodities or companies named after the imperial palace, including noodle vendors and wedding ceremony services.

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce approved the two trade marks as "name brands of China" in June this year. The deputy curator said the Museum will now better be able protect its rights in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2006)

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